As the dry season approaches, the Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos Chapter, Otunba Femi Oke has said farmers across Nigeria are strategically planning for a bumper harvest.
In an interview with AgroNigeria, Otunba disclosed that farmers are introducing Cluster Hubs in agriculture to enhance collaboration and efficiency among farmers.
This innovative approach, he said, is expected to foster a sense of community and shared resources, potentially leading to increased productivity and improved yields.
His words: “The road to success in dry season farming is not without challenges. Farmers commonly face obstacles such as a lack of training, unavailability of quality seedlings, outdated agricultural practices, insufficient funding, and poor access to farm locations due to bad roads.
“To overcome these hurdles, it is imperative for the agricultural sector to address these issues systematically by providing necessary training, ensuring the availability of quality inputs, embracing modern technology, and allocating funds for infrastructure development.
“Selecting the right crops is crucial for a successful dry season harvest. The choice of crops depends on the specific soil and climate conditions of the region. For example, in the Southwest, cassava plantation might be the ideal choice.”
He added that farmers must consider market demand to maximize their profits and contribute to overall economic growth.
He said the lack of rainfall during the dry season necessitates a focus on irrigation farming, adding that the high cost of irrigation remains a challenge for many smallholder farmers who struggle to afford such systems, thereby resorting to alternative solutions like boreholes to channel water to the fields.
“The establishment of the National Agricultural Development Fund (NADF) presents a significant opportunity.
“Funding through the NADF can empower farmers to invest in modern farming techniques, infrastructure, and irrigation systems, ultimately fostering year-round agricultural activities.
“Adequate allocation can also be provided by the Federal Allocation to strengthen the AFAN to bring high productivity in food production,” he submitted.