Anambra farmers ask state govt to provide storage facility

Farmers in Anambra have called on the state government to construct storage facilities for them following their optimism of a bumper harvest.

Speaking separately with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha on Thursday, the farmers said that the weather conditions this year had been apt for a bumper harvest.
Mr Albert Ibe, a rice farmer at Ugbene community in Awka North Local Government Area, said farmers in Anambra would experience bumper harvest due to good weather and absence of flood.
“Our major challenges are storage facilities and feeder roads for easy evacuation of produce to major towns,” Ibe said.
Similarly, Mrs Uzor Iloghalu, a rice farmer and leader of Udoamaka Rice Farmers Association in Anaku, Ayamelum Local Government Area, expressed optimism about a bumper harvest later in the year.
Iloghalu, however, urged the state government to review the memorandum of understanding it signed on behalf of farmers and ``off-takers of rice’’ in the state.
She said that the farmers might may end up not agreeing with the off-takers over the agreed price of N70 per kilogramme of rice which would be evacuated from the farms.
“This is because the current price of rice in the market has gone up and no farmer will want to sell at a lower price to off-takers,” she said.
Mr Edwin Ilo, the Chairman of Maize Growers, Processor and Marketers of Nigeria, said there would be a bumper harvest in spite of the challenge of land facing the farmers.
Ilo, who commended the state government for showing interest in agriculture, called on it to assist the farmers to procure more land for maize cultivation.
The chairman also urged the state government to expedite action on the promise to provide maize farmers with threshing machines and dryers.
Mr Jude Nwankwo, the Project Manager of Anambra Rice and Liaison Officer on Investment in the ministry of agriculture, said the state government had invested on procurement of farm inputs to enhance bumper harvest.
“The farmers were equally given yellow cassava and hybrid maize, so we can comfortably say that harvest will appreciate this year,” Nwankwo said.
He explained that the state government signed a memorandum with rice millers to off-take the rice through the cooperatives.
He said that some private investors in cereals were ready to mop up all the maize for cereal production, saying, however that the harvest might not be enough for their companies in Mgbakwu and Onitsha.
“In the case of cassava, a lot of investors have equally shown interest to mop up cassava which will be used for starch and chips for local consumption and export.
“In spite of these agreements, plans are underway to construct storage facilities in the state to assist the farmers to stock up their produce,” he said. 

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