THE President of Agbeniyi Farmers Association, Omu-Aran in Kwara,Mr Samuel Adeniyi in an interview, has advised government and research institutes to avail farmers of information to boost harvest.
Adeniyi said that majority of farmers were not up to date with vital information needed to improve and sustain their businesses and decried the low level performance of extension workers in educating farmers on the best practices required to achieve maximum yield.
He also pointed out that the farmers do not have access to periodic warning on weather and climatic conditions by forecasting agency to avoid incurring losses, especially as it concerns the local farmers in remote communities.
Adeniyi stressed that in the past, they have extension workers in the communities to assist farmers with useful tips that could enhance production, but now the case is different, since it was impossible for most farmers to travel long distances to the ministries in state capitals for such information, it was imperative for government to address the challenge.
The president pointed out that, this is the only way such farmers, especially at the grassroots, can be carried along in transforming the sector to ensure its growth and development and suggested that the restructuring of agriculture departments in local government councils to ensure prompt and adequate access to information by farmers.
He noted that the local government councils remain the closest to the grassroots and if well equipped to serve the farmers would bring about the desired result, adding that the use of electronic SMS via mobile phone to get the farmers informed periodically, which should not be limited to the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) initiative, would also be an advantage.
Adeniyi, however, commended the Federal Government’s GES initiative, saying the scheme had been able to reduce bureaucratic bottleneck in accessing farming inputs at subsidised rate by local farmers.