The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Kebbi on Wednesday said more than 350,000 farmers were unable to participate in the 2019 dry season farming in the state due to financial constraints.
The Secretary of AFAN in the state, Muhammad Idris, spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Birnin Kebbi.
Mr Idris said the farmers lacked the necessary wherewithal owing to economic hardship and expenses attached to sustenance of the dry season farming, especially given the current sweltering weather.
“Every year, about 500,000 farmers participate in dry season farming, but this year, they cannot do so because they do not have enough money to do so.
“So far, our records reveal that only 150,000 farmers are farming, out of the 500,000 farmers that participated in 2018 dry season farming.
“Apart from the current sweltering weather, the grassroots farmers do not have enough assistance and enough money at their disposal to venture into the routine dry season farming,’’ he said.
The AFAN scribe stressed the need for farmers to be provided with modern seed varieties that were drought resistant and could grow faster than conventional seeds.
“The rural farmers need loan now as assistance from both the Federal and State Governments’’.
The state government had provided 886,000 tonnes of fertiliser at a subsidised rate of N5,500 a bag to farmers across the state to ensure hitch-free farming.
The fertiliser will be sold to the farmers in the 225 wards across the 21 local government areas of the state at the subsidised rate of N5, 500 per bag, instead of N8,000 being sold in the open market.
Kebbi farmers were also among the first to benefit from the government’s rice farming funding under the Anchors Borrowers Programme. the programme involves the provision of loans and farm inputs/equipment to rice farmers. The programme has led to an increase in local rice production.
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