The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Niger State chapter, has called on government at all levels to ensure a quick intervention in the provision of inputs and implements to farmers.
Alhaji Shehu Galadima, chairman of the AFAN, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Minna that there was a need for the three tiers of government to provide farmers with adequate interventions.
Galadima said this measure would ensure commensurate increased yields for farmers’ investments, considering that agriculture was time bound.
“There is the need to provide farm inputs and implements on time because agricultural activities are time bound. We need improved seeds we can plant on time to get commensurate yields.
“Last year, our inputs in Niger came late and some of the seeds we got were not genuine, so it affected us negatively.
“Farming is a seasonal thing, if you don’t plant at the right time, you may not get good yield,” he said.
Galadima also said most government interventions, such as loans, inputs and implements often got to farmers late, thereby making them cultivate late.
He said the bottleneck associated with accessing some of the interventions was also another challenge for farmers.
“A good example is the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which many of our farmers refused to apply for because of the difficult procedures involved,” he added.
The AFAN chairman also said there was a need to transform farming into agribusiness to feed Nigerians and sustain the country’s economy.
“There is a need to take farming seriously and adhere to good agricultural practices with modern technology,” he also said.
Galadima said farmers in the state were facing challenges of inadequate inputs and implements, fake seedlings, when made available, and insecurity.
He also said suspected bandits had seized fertile farmlands at the forest, noting that this had also made it difficult for farmers to get good yields.
Galadima, who described the 2022 dry season farming as a mirage to farmers in the state further said, “Many of the 18 irrigation farms in the state are moribund because of inadequate water, owing to lack of maintenance.”
He urged government and the people to be proactive about security in order to secure lives and property.
“The government must take the war to the criminals instead of giving them the opportunity to come to us.
“The people must also give useful information to security agencies instead of being informants to criminals,” he said.
The AFAN has more than 1.6 million members across the state.