By; PETER NOSAKHARE, Kaduna
Farmers in Nigeria are calling on the federal government to create an enabling environment to make the profession attractive and more lucrative, urging that the cost of being a true farmer is very high and discouraging.
Making this assertion, Mr. Ibrahim Bello, a farmer and producer of Tamini Long Grain Parboiled Rice, wants government to lay emphasis on or stop importation of foreign rice in order to create a market for local rice farmers and production.
He said, “influx of foreign rice is not helping local producers and moreover, the cost of production is on the high. Buying pesticides and hybrids is expensive. Imagine the cost of seedlings ( maize). To buy 10 bags of 1kg of maize seedlings is costing me one hundred and ten thousand naira.”
The former banker of 17 years experience also urged the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to wake up to its responsibility and name and come to the aid of farmers.
“BOA is not acting to its name. I am also into poultry farming, the bank should take positive actions and measures in ensuring that farmers get the needed assistance as at when due. Farming is a good profession, that is why government is encouraging it as an alternative to generating alternative wealth for the nation.
“Farming is an alternative to the nation’s dependency on oil.”