Plateau: Farmers, stakeholders predict poor harvest in 2016 farming season

 Farmers and stakeholders in Plateau have predicted that the 2016 farming season would experience poor harvest compared to the same period last year.
Some of the stakeholders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday that they anticipated poor harvest owing to farmers' inability to access vital farm inputs.
Mr Francis Makwin, a lecturer with the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jos, said the poor harvest would be mainly due to the inability of most farmers to access farm inputs.
He said the level of rainfall was good enough for bumper farm yields, but that lack of inputs had the capability to hamper effective and adequate food production in the country.
According to him, the present economic hardships has the capability to contribute greatly to poor harvest that the country will experience in 2016 as farmers lack the financial muscle to purchase modern farm inputs.
``When you look at the situation critically, you will realise that the level of rainfall is good enough for us to have bumper harvest this year.
``Unfortunately other man-made factors will not let this to be actualised, as there is no money in circulation for farmers to buy inputs.
`` Even those that have the money cannot see the inputs to buy because government did not make these things available in time.
``In 2015, a bag of fertiliser sold at the rate of N3, 500, today farmers buy a bag at N11, 000 and the most disturbing part of it is that the product is not available to farmers.
``This is why you see yellowish farms everywhere, because the needed quantity of fertiliser is not applied, and as such we cannot have bumper harvest this year, `` he said.
Makwin called on government at all levels to make effort and provide farmers with needed inputs such as fertiliser and seedlings at an affordable price to avert future food scarcity.
He also tasked government to provide succour to farmers, by giving them soft loans to aid agriculture and improve the production of food for export purposes.
Makwin challenged research institutes to brace up to the challenges of providing needed solutions to some eminent crop diseases such as potato and tomato blights to save damage occasioned by these pests.
On her part, the chairperson, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Plateau, Mrs Sarah Chuwang, blamed anticipated poor farm yields on farmers-herdsmen clashes.
She said the level of insecurity in some parts of the country as a result of such clashes would hinder bumper harvest in some parts of the country and could lead to serious food scarcity.
``The issue of farmers being attacked by herdsmen while on their farms still linger, and most farmers will not go to their farms to cultivate or evacuate products because of the fear of the unknown, `` she said.
She called on the Federal Government to adopt stringent measures that would completely end the rift between the cattle herders and the local farmers.


Popular posts from this blog

Tomato disease outbreak: Institute appeals for research funding

Emir of Gwandu calls for sustained investment in agriculture to diversify economy

Plateau farmers to produce 5,975 metric tonnes of tomatoes - Fadama III