Farmers need more training programmes — Oyekoya
A former Chairman of Agric and Agro Allied Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Wale Oyekoya, on Wednesday said organising of training programmes for farmers in Nigeria should be intensified.
Oyekoya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that training farmers would help them to imbibe modern farming practices.
According to him, the finding that transportation is the main cause of high price of staple foods is understated; it is the least of farmers’ myriad problems.
“Farmers need training and retraining, and the organisation of training programmes for them is very important.
“The training programmes will take farmers through what has been done within and outside Nigeria, to achieve good farming practices.
“Farmers can also be taken through some countries like Malawi, China, Indonesia and Brazil system of farming operations and be encouraged to introduce them in their farms.
“Farmers will be in position to understand better the dry season farming, and know how to fit in, to improve their farming knowledge and practice.
“The training will afford farmers the platform to start considering coming together to do farming on a large scale,’’ he said.
Oyekoya said although the new Federal Task Force on Food and Security was established with good intentions, it was poorly constituted.
He said the task force did not have farmers or stakeholders in farming among its members to advise the ministers on the committee on challenges of farming in the country.
Oyekoya said that farm infrastructure was a huge challenge that should be tackled urgently, to enhance proper planting and harvesting.
The former agric group chief said the government needed to ensure that storage silos in the country work better and effectively.
He said that allocation of farmlands was an issue that the government should tackle head on, to ensure availability to the farmers to practice mechanised agriculture.
Oyekoya said there was need for government to put in place price control measures to check unnecessary increase in prices of food.
NAN reports that the Federal Government set up a task force on food security to look at the causes of increase in the prices of food items across the country, and address them.
The task force was expected to review the transportation and preservation processes, and see how government could intervene in those aspects, to bring down food prices.