Dry season farming is capable of addressing the nation’s poverty and food insufficiency challenges, Mr Joseph Aboyeji, a commercial farmer in Kwara, said on Wednesday.
Aboyeji, who is also the Director of Open Haven Farms, based in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara, made the remark in a chat with the Nigerian Pilot.
“Dry season farming, if well planned and implemented, will promote an all year round farming and it is capable of addressing the nation’s poverty and food insufficiency challenges,” he said.
“With highly subsidised farm inputs as seedlings and fertiliser, the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES), remain a good platform for farmers to engage in all year round farming for the benefit of all.
“I think it is time the Federal Government gives a priority attention to the need to increase its budget provision for agriculture, especially dry season farming for the 2017 planting season.
“There are lots of expectations from all tiers of government to turn around the socio-economic fortune of the country by utilising our God-given land and natural resources for our own benefit.
“With an increase in production of crops as rice, wheat, sorghum and vegetables, this will go a long way to complement the wet season harvest, aimed at ensuring availability of food at all times,’’ Aboyeji said.
The commercial farmer, however, called on Nigerians, especially farmers, to give adequate priority to dry season farming in order to reduce the negative impact of the nation’s economic challenges.
According to him, such practice will promote all year round farming, fight poverty and food insufficiency related challenges.
He said the Federal Government’s GES was a veritable platform to achieve success as regards dry season farming implementation.
The commercial farmer said with GES, the desired increase in food production and income, would be achieved, as beneficiaries under the scheme, had unhindered access to highly subsidised farm inputs.
Aboyeji said the recent decline in the global prices of crude oil was enough reason for the authority to give the sector the necessary attention to bail the country out of food insufficiency.
He, however, stressed the need for the Federal Government to exhibit strong political will and accord top priority to promoting dry season farming in its programmes and policies.
Aboyeji said that the potential dry season farmers required adequate fund to achieve all-year round farming.
The commercial farmer said late and inadequate downpour being experienced in some parts of the country, had posed serious challenges to farmers in meeting up with their food production targets.
He said that dry season farming was capital intensive, hence the need for government to provide adequate budgetary allocation for the sector in order to achieve its objectives.
Aboyeji also called for the provision of modern storage facilities and organised markets, so as to assist farmers in actualising their high production target.