Stakeholders on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to put more efforts in combating insurgency for sustainable food security in the country.
The stakeholders made the calls at the opening ceremony of the second International Engineering Conference by the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.
Mr Uko Nkole, a member representing Ohafia/Arochukwu Federal Constituency said that insurgency had posed the greatest threat to national food security.
Nkole, who delivered a keynote speech on “The Role of Government in Sustainable Food and National Security”, decried the menace of insurgents as threatening food security, especially in the North East.
He urged the Federal Government to decentralise the country’s security architecture so that the governor’s would be control of security in their respective states.
Nkole also called on the government to fund researches fully, adding that the budgetary allocations for agriculture and education “are nothing to write home about’’.
Prof. Philips Nto, the Rector, Abia College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu said the country had been experiencing serious food insecurity in recent times.
Nto in his paper entitled: “Engineering for Sustainable Food Security in Nigeria” urged the government at all levels to arrest the menace of herders involved in the destruction of farmlands nationwide.
“With herders/farmers conflicts, we are witnessing monumental crises that will surely exact consequences on the production, processing and even storage of food,” he said.
He said that the engineers must be innovative and proactive if they wanted to execute the mandate to mechanise the production, storage and distribution of food across the country.
Prof. Joshua Simonyan, the Dean of the college said that the theme: “Engineering for Sustainable Econmic Diversification, Food and National Security” was carefully chosen to reflect the country’s present reality.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Francis Otunta, who was represented by Prof. Madu Iwe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) restated the importance of sustainable food to national security.
Otunta, who expressed happiness for the conference, challenged the country’s engineers to find a lasting solution to food insecurity through their work.