Oyo State farmers seek support for dry season farming

Mr Olumide Ayinla, the Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), made the appeal in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan.

Ayinla said that farmers were ready to start dry-season cultivation of crops like maize and rice but had no funds to start the enterprise.

“Farmers are very ready and interested in dry season farming but we have not received any assistance of any sort from both the federal and state governments.

“We expect that the FADAMA III Additional Finance (AFII) programme will help us but at the moment, there is sign of help from them.

“AFAN has more than 18,000 members in the state and there is no financial assistance to the association from any quarters.

“We are not getting loans and farm inputs or any form of incentives from the government; they keep promising us but all to no avail,”  he said.

Ayinla also urged the government to provide good roads, solar lights and other social amenities for farms and villages, so as to stem rural-urban migration and encourage the youth to go into agriculture.

However, the AFAN leader said that farmers were facing many challenges due to the menace of herdsmen who often invaded their farms, adding that the government should urgently intervene to address the issue.

“The herdsmen are always invading our farms and I was once a victim; we also have problems relating to land tenure issues as well as paucity of funds and inputs, among others.

“If these problems are not tackled and if the government do not intervene on time and give us necessary support, we may experience a food crisis this year,” he said.

Besides, Ayinla said that the strike embarked upon by agricultural research institutes had also affected crop production and urged the government to look into their demands.

“Research institutes here normally organise seminars, sensitisation, workshop programmes for us; they also give us certified seeds but we don’t receive such things again since they embarked on strike.

“We are not really happy with the present situation of the agriculture sector, particularly as it relates to farmers and farming in the country.

“There is an urgent need for improvement to enable us to move forward,” he added.

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