The Secretary of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Oyo State, Mr David Ogundele, says farmers are praying for early commencement and stability of rainfall in 2020.
This, he said, would enable crops such as cassava, vegetables and permanent crops planted in nursery farms late last year to grow well and result in bumper harvest.
Ogundele told the Nigerian News Agency on Friday in Ibadan that early rains would also enable arable farmers to plant crops such as maize, cowpea and melon twice in the year.
“It is our desire that the rains start early but we will not advise our members to plant until we have stable rain which may be around April.
” Notwithstanding, crops like cassava can be planted earlier than that period.
“We advise farmers to watch out, we should not be deceived by early rains, we should not rush to plant but wait till we have stable rain and we trust God for that,” he said.
Ogundele said to improve food production in the state, farmers were planning to encourage modern day farming through green house systems and involvement of experts to train them on the latest technology.
“Green house farming is a system whereby we produce inside canopy well designed for that purpose under good maintenance and good supervision using small acres of land.
“The system accommodates all commodities; the harvest is triple because it ’s hybrid, the farm maintenance is easy, production cost is low and it meets exportation standard,” he said.
He urged federal and state governments to support farmers adequately by providing all farm inputs, more lands and financial assistance.
The secretary added that farmers need training on modern day farming as well as support in the provision of farm machinery.
“Last year, we were able to acquire more than 1000 hectares in the state but we didn’t have money for bush clearing.
“Now CBN, through NIRSAL, has promised to help us out and to engage our members through the Anchor Borrower’s Programme.
“If we are adequately supported as expected, we will certainly work harder to improve production and this will further help us to boost capacity as well as the economy,” he said.
(Edited by: Adeboye Ajayi/Mufutau Ojo)