Farmers plead with FG to provide dry season farming equipment
Some Ibadan-based farmers have urged the Federal Government to provide them with dry season farming equipment to boost food production in the area.
The farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan that lack of equipment, including pumping machines and sprayers had prevented them from practicing dry season.
Dry farming refers to crop production during a dry season, and it utilizes the residual moisture in the soil from the rainy season instead of depending on irrigation.
Warm season vegetables such as tomato, pepper, cucumber, okra, eggplant, garden egg, melon, pumpkin, sweet potato, green amaranth can survive the dry season and can thrive very well.
“We have paid for the equipment since October 2016 and were told that they would be supplied to us; but till now, we have not seen anything,’’ Mr Ademola Aderemi, a vegetable farmer, told NAN.
“The best time to plant vegetables like okro,` ewedu’ is between October and now. We have nothing to use and it is a big loss for us as we speak.’’
A fish and livestock farmer, Mrs Oluyemi Akerele, said that this brand of farming was capital intensive, noting that land was a major challenge faced by this category of farmers.
“About five years ago, we were told to join Agriculture Banking in Oyo State; we joined, opened accounts and deposited N10, 000 each. But till today, we didn’t hear from them.
“Now, I am looking for my own landed property. If I use the little money I have to buy land, how do I then continue farming,’’ she said.
Mr Joseph Dominic, a cassava farmer, urged the government and commercial banks to provide a relaxed agriculture loan condition for farmers.
“Farmers need an environment that is conducive to earn optimally for their labour; how can we be bringing collateral before collecting loans.
“The strict loan conditions make it very difficult for us to access funds. We need to move to mechanised farming to produce more food.
“But we need assistance to achieve this,’’ Dominic said.