Expert Advocates Sufficient Food For Local Consumption Ahead Of Export

Sir Patrick Alor, an agribusiness strategist has advocated the need for adequate supply and availability of food for local consumption before consideration for export to other countries.

Speaking with DAILY INDEPENDENT, he stressed that agriculture should be looked at from the perspective of business, adding that a situation where a market will be created for a particular produce or product and the product will not be readily available for the local populace is not good enough.

Alor, who is also the National Publicity Secretary of the National Mushroom Association of Nigeria said all hands must be on deck to ensure that mushroom is readily available for the average Nigerians and should not be exclusive for the rich as it is currently.

“We do not want a situation where, if we create a market for mushroom for instance, then, it will not be available for the local populace, whereas people are exporting the commodity, which is always the case.

“Take for instance cassava; immediately they opened the doors for cassava, ‘garri’ became a scarce commodity and the price skyrocketed. The same thing with palm oil; people started rushing to the villages to buy the commodity and the price also went up.

“So, we should try to work out strategies such that we will be able to feed our people with mushroom; there will be that food security before we now think of exporting that is part of the strategies we will put in place.

Adding, “It is not just the feeding because that has always been Nigerian attitude, we will look at the value chain, what we can add to it so that it will not be like cocoa.

He said that the typical people that farm cocoa, in the 70s, many of them cannot even afford three square meal but these produce are exported overseas and the people who do not even farm it are making billions of dollars from processing cocoa into chocolate and beverages.

He praised the evolution of various spices of mushroom varieties like mushroom pie, rolls, meats, soups and the drink he manufactured for the delight of Nigerians.

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