Nation Building Through Food Security By Immigrant Farmers: A Study of Akpabuyo and Calabar Metropolis, Cross River State
It is evident that, by almost any standard, agriculture is not doing well in Africa. This explains why the food question persists as one of the most critical problems in the African continent. One of the reasons for diminishing output in agriculture and therefore food insecurity is that African governments consistently adopt macro-dimensional policies planned and delivered at the top to solve food and agricultural problems. The abundant human resources of the indigenous and immigrant small-scale faeming population at the grassroot level are often ignored. The paper calls for a micro-dimensional approach where agricultural and food production would be managed at the grassroot by indigenous and immigrant farmers through locally constituted body known as National Food Surplus Network. Local Government Areas will be demarcated as specific agricultural zones but the villages will serve as main theatres of food production using abundant human resources in the peasant farming population. The paper draws from ethnographic and survey data from Akpabuyo LGA and Calabar metropolis, all in Cross River State, to portray the role of immigrants and indigenous farmers in food and agricultural production. We argue that until agricultural policies concretely address the abundant but wasted human resources in indigenous and immigrant farmers at the grassroot by making them a key factor in food production, food security will ever remain an illusion in Nigeria and the entire African region.