Agriculturist wants farmers practice irrigation to improve yields
An agriculturist, Mr Agboola Samuel, on Monday advised farmers to embrace irrigation to curb poor yields caused by inadequate rainfall.
Samuel gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara.
He said that irrigation would boost crop performance and improve harvest and income especially during dry season.
Samuel said that inadequate rainfall experienced in many parts of the country was impacting negatively on farmers’ production target.
“Ninety per cent of the country’s food is produced by small-scale farmers, who cultivate on tiny plots of land and depend largely on rainfall rather than irrigation.
“In developing economies such as Nigeria, most farmers practice rain-fed agriculture which results in low productivity, low income, perpetual poverty and malnutrition.
“The majority of the crops planted in the first and second quarters of the year are destroyed by intensive heat due to inadequate rainfall.
“This actually accounts for the scarcity and high prices of some farm produce such as yam and maize in most of our localities,” he said.
The agriculturist urged dry season farmers and others to embrace irrigation to reduce food scarcity and unemployment.
He regretted that poverty was much in the country in spite of its plentiful resources, claiming that 70 per cent of rural dwellers were poor and half of the figure living in absolute poverty.
“Farmers are usually less busy in their farms during dry season; therefore, irrigation farming serves as an alternative employment and additional source of income during that period.’’
The agriculturist advised local farmers to register and participate actively in the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Scheme to benefit from subsidised farm inputs.