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COVID-19: Group wants youths in farming to avert famine

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By Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu

The Leadership Entrepreneurship and Advocacy Network (LEAD Network), a non-government organisation, NGO, has urged governments at all levels to create conducive environment for youths to massively resort to the farm so as to avert likely national food crisis. The executive director of the group, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, made the call while speaking with newsmen in Enugu on Monday.

Okenwa said that that the call had become imperative given the shortage of food and food items occasioned by the lockdown in the bid to check the spread of the coronavirus pandemic for some weeks now in the country.

According to him, there has been this increase in consumption of food and other edibles during these few weeks millions of Nigerians stayed at home.

“The supply chain of food across states is greatly impeded by most farmers not going to farm again due to lockdown; with closure of the country’s borders. As well as the lack of effective strategy to ensure maximum outreach to farmers at the grassroots on need to continue their farming activities nationwide.

“This generally means that our nation is at great risk of a likely food crisis in few months to come. Thus, whereas the advent of the COVID-19 had revealed how unprepared we are to contain a health emergency and provide enough and constant food for all citizenry.

“Youth interventions by leveraging on their massive physical strength they are endowed with can be deployed to ensure that we not faced with a food pandemic, which could be more disastrous than COVID-19 pandemic,’’ he said.

Okenwa called on youth corps members, who still receive their monthly allowances from the federal government and are in their respective homes, to leverage on the lands in their villages to enhance the fighting chances of our nation against food crisis.

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