Farmers across the South-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria have attributed this year’s low harvest and recorded losses to inadequate rainfall and shortage of hybrid seeds for planting.
They claimed that all the crops planted by farmers had dried up due to lack of rainfall and that the hybrid seeds which could stand the test of times where being sold by exorbitant prices.
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), said that the inadequate rainfall was a big challenge for farmers in the South-West and that there was need for critical stakeholders and government to ensure adequate attention are being paid to plights of farmers across the country.
The farmers who spoke through the Oyo State Chairman of AFAN, John Olateru, urged government at all levels to assist farmers in getting correct seedlings and provide highly subsidised fertiliser and chemicals to the farmers.
“Farmers have to start all over; unfortunately, the hybrid seed that can solve this problem is not readily available and where you are able to get it, it is at a prohibitive cost.
“Government and Nigerian Seed Council need to be up and doing in the area of seed. A situation where there are seeds that can provide a minimum of six tons per hectare, compared with the seed that will give you two tons with the same efforts require serious attention.
“Seeds that will not give our farmers profitable yield should not be allowed into the market; the grain farmers need all support they can get to mitigate the challenges they are facing,” he said.
He appealed to the government to support farmers financially to mitigate the losses they had experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other related issues.
“For livestock farmers, it is unfortunate that all the companies the government issued import permits to are foreigners that are operating in the livestock industry, not a single Nigerian benefited from this.
“They are competing with Nigerians; with what the government has done, they have been given competition advantages. Nigerian livestock farmers are now at their mercies and this is a bad solution to the challenges at hand,” the association chairman said.