Ooni Tasks Govt On Food Security As Ife Celebrate Yam Festival
Yam, which is one the staple food items in Nigeria and Africa as a continent is unique and popular among the major crops cultivated by farmers in small scale and commercial quantities over centuries. Its harvest during the months of July and August every year often attracts wide range of celebrations and festivals within the population of ethnic nationalities constituting Nigeria.
In Yorubaland, pomp and thrills associated with new yam festival have not only added colour and great expectation the celebrations have also gone a long way in re-awakening the cultural significance of yam and creating ample opportunities to underscore the need to embrace agriculture as means of shoring up the nation’s revenues.
As parts of the fulfilment of his cultural tourism agenda, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has urged the government at all levels to encourage farming toward ensuring food security across the country.
Ooni made the call on Thursday while playing host to farmers, traders, artisans among others for the annual yam festival held at his Palace, Ile-Ife.
He described food as an indispensable commodity to human survival and decried several challenges including climate change, insecurity and funding among others confronting food production in the country.
“What is critical in ensuring food security is to encourage and celebrate farmers because they feed us.
”If we celebrate them, they will be encouraged to do more through which food security will be guaranteed.
“Nigeria is no doubt the largest producer of yam across the world, but we need to translate this into development and economic prosperity for our people.
“The Federal, State and Local governments must as a matter of core responsibility do everything possible to add value to the farming business,” Ooni said.
On the basis for the celebration, Ooni Ogunwusi explained: “What we are doing here today is linking our culture to commerce, economy, and nation-building.