The Bwari Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is noted for huge agricultural potentials. The inhabitants, who are predominantly peasant farmers, live solely on proceeds from agricultural activities.
They mostly farm yam, maize, sorghum, cowpea, rice, among other crops.
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However, in recent times, the council seems to be losing some of these agricultural potentials as many youths are gradually abandoning farming.
This is what the surviving leaders of the community are now working to correct.
One of the leaders of the community, Solomon Ayuba Dagami, told Daily Trust on Sunday in an interview that youths in the area were gradually losing interest in farming because of the absence of modern farming implements, as well as lack of access to necessary farm inputs.
Dagami, who is a farmer and the council’s local education secretary, noted that for farming to be made attractive in this modern age, the necessary modern inputs must be made available.
“Gone are the days when our fathers would be in the farms from morning to night to tilt the land. No youth will do that at this age when they know there are implements that can do this within hours.
“So leaders must realise this and provide farmers with tractors, planters, sprayers, and if possible, harvest implements that would make the task easy for them and attract their interests,’’ he said.
Dagami, who described Bwari as an agricultural hub of the FCT, called on relevant stakeholders within and outside the council to support farmers in the area with necessary inputs.
“Another issue is with inputs like seeds, fertiliser and agrochemicals. It will be difficult if at all possible, to do farming meaningfully these days without those things I mentioned. But go and check their prices now in the market and you will find out that it is gradually going beyond ordinary farmers.
“We must find a solution to this if we are to regain our lost glory in agriculture,’’ he added.
The education secretary, who is due to retire next year, said he would retire into full-time farming and politics in order to address some of these challenges.
“If I retire, aside from farming, I may go into politics and possibly represent my people in AMAC/Bwari federal constituency so that I would be able to make a strong case for agricultural advancement of these communities,’’ he said.
Some farmers who spoke with Daily Trust on Sunday said the council had been neglected in terms of agricultural empowerment, which they attributed to lack of adequate representation in both the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the National Assembly.
“We have never received farm inputs from the government or any other group because we are not adequately represented. That is why we are no longer making progress in agriculture. There is no one to make case for us,’’ Joseph Yohana, one of the farmers said.