FCT farmers urge FG to provide inputs to boost yam production
Some farmers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have advised the Federal Government to provide storage facilities, good roads, soft loans and inputs to farmers to boost yam production.
They noted that the initiative of the government would go a long to boost yam production and encourage many youth to embrace farming, describing yam exportation initiative as “a step in the right direction”.
The farmers, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, commended the government’s initiative.
A yam farmer in Gaube village of Kuje, Mr Musa Azaki said that more farmers would now concentrate in yam cultivation more than ever before if government would ensure the sustainability of such a laudable policy.
“The yam export plan is a welcome development but government needs to do more to by boosting production to sustain the policy.
“Yam exportation will create job for the teeming youths as many unemployed youths will take advantage of the opportunity to go into its production.
“The government should encourage mechanised farming by providing farm inputs, implements and tractors for farmers at subsidised rates,’’ he said.
Another yam farmer from Agyana community in Abaji, Mr Yohana Gata, said the initiative would boost yam production and other food commodities that would enhance revenue generation.
According to him, there is the need to embark on activities that would take the nation’s economy out of recession.
He debunked the notion in certain quarters that the policy of the government would subject the populace to untold hardship, saying to the contrary the initiative would encourage food production.
“Yam exportation is a welcome development but government needs to do more to sustain the policy by encouraging farmers.
“The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that as the country formally begins the exportation of certified yams, it will not lead to famine in Nigeria.
“The policy would benefit, empower and encourage more farmers to go into yam cultivation in the country,’’ he said.
Nigeria on June 29 began to export yams to Europe and the United States, as part of moves to diversify its oil-dependent economy and earn more foreign exchange.
Agriculture Minister Audu Ogbeh supervised the export of the first consignment of the fibrous tuber from the port in Lagos.
“Oil and gas cannot employ millions of people just like agriculture so we must work hard to move from oil to earning foreign exchange from agriculture,” he said.