A cross part of Nigerian farmers within the North West have acknowledged that poor returns on funding within the cultivation of meals crops is forcing them to focus on money crops to generate revenue, a Information Company of Nigeria (NAN) survey has proven.
The farmers and different stakeholders mentioned abandonment of meals crops corresponding to Maize, Sorghum and Millet is basically on account of low costs, which isn’t sufficient to cowl what’s spent throughout cultivation.
They counsel the institution of commodity boards to guard farmers from middlemen and guarantee higher costs for meals crops.
Malam Abba Muhammad, a big scale farmer in Katsina, mentioned that he deserted meals crop farming as a result of there isn’t a achieve in it.
Muhammad urged authorities to guard native farmers by discovering markets for his or her produce, and assist to checkmate the actions of the middlemen.
“The scenario at all times throws the final populace together with the native farmers into starvation and poverty, as a result of the native farmers are compelled by circumstances to promote their merchandise to middlemen at give-away costs.
“I made a decision to go for money crops like cassava, sesame, wheat, ginger, cashew, orange, amongst others as a result of manufacturing firms and industries want these as uncooked supplies and so they purchase them at exorbitant costs,” he mentioned.
Nevertheless, one other farmer in Katsina, Alhaji Bishir Yusuf mentioned costs of meals crops have elevated within the present season and farmers are getting good rewards for his or her efforts.
“A 100 kg bag of maize offered between N8,000 and N10,000 earlier than, is now offered between N14,000 to N16,000 relying on the situation.
“Equally, a 50 kg bag of native rice offered between N12,000 and N16,000 is now offered between N22,000 and N24,000.
“If the development continues, extra farmers will go into meals crops manufacturing within the coming seasons,” Yusuf mentioned.
Conversely, an agronomist, Malam Isma’il Dahiru advised NAN that farmers are abandoning cultivation of meals crops for money crops due to so many difficulties and challenges.
Dahiru mentioned these embrace lack of entry roads, no entry to markets and financial institution loans, lack of improved seedlings, absence of mechanization, insufficient analysis and extension companies, amongst others.
The Chairman of All Farmers Affiliation of Nigeria (AFAN), Katsina State Chapter, Alhaji Ya’u Gwajogwajo, mentioned President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has good agricultural insurance policies and programmes for farmers.
Gwajogwajo nevertheless, lamented that there’s little assist from banks within the nation to enhance the President’s efforts.
He advocated that banks ought to grant one-digit mortgage to farmers, whereas analysis institutes ought to assist with new seedlings to spice up agricultural manufacturing and obtain meals safety.
Prof. Mohammed-Faguji Ishiyaku, Government Director, Institute of Agricultural Analysis (IAR) Ahmadu Bello College, Zaria mentioned the want of the institute is for agriculture to be for meals and cash.
In response to Ishiyaku, every little thing a farmer produces right now is money crop, as a result of everybody would need to have a farm to develop sufficient rice, maize or sorghum to feed his household and promote for money.
“Our want usually is for all our agriculture to be for money; money for the farmer. Farmers ought to produce what they eat and promote to resolve different household wants,’’ he mentioned.
Ishiyaku added that agriculture for money is in step with the Federal Authorities’s agenda on agriculture.
The director suggested that efforts ought to be geared towards producing extra to satisfy native consumption and for export.
He famous that the one approach agriculture will eradicate poverty is by practising agriculture as a enterprise.
“As an example, a liter of groundnut oil is extra pricey than a liter of petrol.
“This means that there are commodities that generate more cash than petrol, which additional reveals the large potentialities of the nation to earn more money from agriculture,’’ Ishiyaku mentioned.
He reiterated that agriculture is for making meals and producing revenue in direction of eradication of poverty.
Equally, Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar, Supervisor, Maigana Zone of Kaduna State Agricultural Improvement Company mentioned meals crops corresponding to rice and maize are additionally money crops as a result of farmers are earning money from it.
In response to Abubakar, farmers are shifting to money crops as a result of they’re making some huge cash than from meals crops.
“In a hectare of maize or rice farm, a farmer could understand about 50 baggage to 70 baggage of the produce which is about N500,000 to N700,000.
“In the meantime, in a hectare of tomato farm, the farmer could get between N1 million naira to N1.7 million,’’ he mentioned.
The official famous that money crops farming is all 12 months spherical, whereas meals crops is seasonal, largely throughout the wet season.
He added that farmers who produce greens corresponding to chili, pepper, tomatoes and others, harvest the produce greater than seven occasions, in contrast to meals crops corresponding to maize and guinea corn, that are harvested as soon as in a season.
Abubakar mentioned the frequent money crops produced within the space, are beans, soya – beans, tomatoes, pepper, carrot, onions and cabbage, amongst others.
He nevertheless, warned that abandoning meals crops for money crops will hinder the achievement of meals sufficiency for households and the nation.
Abubakar mentioned vegetable farmers within the space are supported by organizations corresponding to East-West Seed, and the German Authorities sponsored GIZ.
“They assist farmers with improved agronomic practices in maize manufacturing and enterprise,” he mentioned.
As for Malam Dalhatu Aliyu, a farmer in Yaskwake Mai-Dabino, Zaria Native Authorities he mentioned he’s into combined farming, cultivating each meals and money crops.
Aliyu mentioned that he normally begins with onions, thereafter pepper, candy potatoes, maize, okra, `Zobo’ and tomatoes.
He added that he has to date harvested pepper twice within the present season, whereas saying that maize and candy potatoes will be harvested at any time.
Aliyu mentioned combined farming is giving him more cash, including that he makes use of the cash realized from the onions to plant different crops and greens.
In the meantime, Kano State Emergency Administration Company mentioned that 1000’s of hectres of farmlands had been misplaced to flooding in 27 native authorities areas of the state.
Mr Sale Jili, Government Secretary, advised NAN that
the Company has carried out injury evaluation and distributed aid supplies to the affected individuals.
“SEMA distributed aid supplies corresponding to meals, non meals gadgets and constructing supplies,” Jili mentioned.
NAN reviews that the flood submerged rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, millet, beans, tomato and vegetable plantations amongst others within the affected areas.
A rice miller in Kano, Zangina Muhammad, mentioned the flood has uncovered farmers to heavy losses.
Muhammad famous that 1000’s of hectres of rice fields change into wilted as a result of flood, a scenario that he mentioned will have an effect on total productiveness.
He added that a lot of the farmers affected are beneficiaries of the Anchor Debtors’ Programme (ABP) and Agro-Processing Productiveness Enhancement and Livelihood Assist (APPEALS) challenge.
“The farmers had been supplied with fertilisers, seeds, chemical compounds and different inputs to encourage productiveness.
“The initiatives had been designed to encourage rice, wheat, tomato, maize, beans and sorghum manufacturing via farmer assist companies, worth addition, in addition to improvement of farmer enterprising expertise,” Muhammad mentioned.
Aminu Isa, a rice farmer, mentioned farmers favor cultivation of rice, wheat, tomatoes, water melon and different money crops in view of its profitable nature and accessible market.
Isa mentioned that almost all farmers promote their produce earlier than harvest time, including that, “there are grain sellers who’re keen to purchase paddy and different produce earlier than harvest.
“The development is common amongst farmers; it saves price, you’ll not spend on preservation and packaging,” he mentioned.
The farmer, nevertheless, mentioned the devastating results of flooding will make it tough to repay loans to the ABP and APPEALS programmes.
Abdulkarim Kaita, Managing Director, Dangote Tomato Processing Plant, Kadawa, mentioned the corporate in collaboration with the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) has initiated farmer assist companies to encourage tomato manufacturing.
Kaita, who spoke on the distribution of inputs to five,000 tomato growers in Kura LGA, mentioned farmers acquired improved seeds to allow them to supply minimal of 40 tonnes per hectare.
He mentioned his firm additionally established a 350 – million – tonne capability greenhouse to realize self sufficiency in tomato manufacturing within the nation.
“There are 12 main tomato producing states. When totally cultivated, Nigeria will have the ability to begin exporting tomato within the coming years.
“It’s the largest greenhouse in Africa, set as much as present tomato growers with excessive yield seeds to encourage productiveness,” Kaita mentioned.
Sani Yadakwari, Chairman, Kano State chapter of the Tomato Growers Affiliation of Nigeria, mentioned that every of the affiliation’s 5,000 registered farmers acquired a complete mortgage bundle of N551,000.
Yadakwari defined that the bundle embrace seeds, fertiliser, water pumps and different inputs.
He recommended the Federal Authorities for the inclusion of tomato worth chain within the ABP, including that the gesture will go an extended approach to increase tomato manufacturing within the nation.
In Kebbi State, the State Emergency Administration Company (SEMA) mentioned farmers misplaced greater than N5 billion price of farm produce to floods in 2020.
Alhaji Sani Dododo, the SEMA Chairman, appealed to the Federal Authorities to urgently help the state in mitigating the results of the catastrophe recorded.
“I need to use this medium to name on the Federal Authorities and worldwide donor businesses, to come back to the help of Kebbi State Authorities and its individuals.
“That is in order that we will massively have interaction in dry season farming to, a minimum of cushion the impact of the losses incurred throughout this farming season.
“Our evaluation confirmed that injury to rice plantations and different produce as a result of flood may very well be greater than N5 billion.
“The flood submerged greater than 450,000 hectares of rice plantation within the lowland, and over 50,000 hectares of millet, sorghum, maize and sugarcane had been additionally destroyed on the highlands,” Dododo mentioned.
Badiya Abubakar, a feminine rice farmer, expressed the concern that the catastrophe recorded could scare farmers away subsequent planting season.
“You already know the key of farming lies on one’s working capital. All smallholder farmers that represent nearly all of rice farmers within the state function beneath the precept of ploughing again farming enterprise.
“That’s to say, the proceeds of the earlier 12 months is used to finance the following farming season,” Abubakar defined.
She mentioned farmers should be re-mobilized to farms as rapidly because the flood water recedes.
“Money assist right now is critical as that may allow the farmers to finance all necessities with out having to search for an answer elsewhere which might result in delay.
“Authorities should be conscious that each one submit – flood assist should be immediate as there isn’t a time to waste,” Abubakar mentioned.
An agriculturalist, Malam Nasiru Kwaifa, mentioned the abolishing of promoting boards by authorities has triggered losses to over 2.2 million farmers yearly in Kebbi alone, who don’t have any various than to promote their surplus merchandise at give away costs.
“There may be lack of agro-industries that may buy the merchandise to keep away from gluts.
“Middlemen normally profit greater than the precise farmers by shopping for at cheaper charges from farmers and promoting at exorbitant costs thereby inflicting hike in costs of foodstuffs,” Kwaifa mentioned.
On elimination of off-takers, he mentioned, “it is vitally possible with a correct authorities intervention corresponding to institution of promoting boards and agro- allied industries nearer to farmers”.
In response to Kwaifa, the off-takers function intermediaries between rural farmers and wholesalers as native farmers do not need to move their produce to far locations on the market.
“The off-takers assist farmers to stop gluts although they profit greater than the farmers.
“They trigger worth fluctuations and hike in costs, and a few usually adulterate the merchandise after shopping for from the farmers of their bids to extend earnings,” he famous.
The agriculturalist, nevertheless, asserts that the challenges in eliminating middlemen are many.
“Farmers must purchase technique of transporting their produce, get correct storage and processing amenities.
“The teachings we must always be taught are, the statistics point out acute and continual ranges of poverty among the many rural farmers within the nation.
“Authorities data low manufacturing of most crops and animals yearly.
“Off-taking results in rural-urban migration affecting the economic system, whereas middlemen normally trigger costs of products and companies to skyrocket,” Kwaifa mentioned.
Alhaji Sani Dahiru, Zamfara Chairman of Nationwide Affiliation of Cotton Farmers in Nigeria (NACOTTAN), additionally defined why farmers favor money crops farming.
“Cotton farming is a enterprise, it’s essential for textile industries and cotton ginneries to carry out successfully.
“Over 30,000 cotton farmers had been registered to take part in cotton farming within the state, we predict extra assist from farmers and personal organisations.
“As everyone knows, money crops manufacturing other than offering uncooked supplies to industries, additionally generates employment alternatives, whereas including worth to the product and lives of farmers,” Dahiru mentioned.
A maize farmer, Alhaji Sani Salisu mentioned, “we’ve got no different enterprise than farming, we embrace money crops farming as a result of it has extra worth than solely meals crops”.
“I domesticate soya beans all year long, however I promote it to offer for my wants,” Salisu mentioned.
A rice farmer, Mustafa Kaura, mentioned the crop serves as meals and money crop.
“There may be worth for cash while you domesticate rice,” Kaura added.
Alhaji Nura Attajidi, the Chairman of Sokoto State chapter of Small and Medium Scale Rice Millers, mentioned regardless of challenges, the nation will get it proper in agriculture.
Attajidi expressed optimism that the continued authorities’s efforts to accentuate meals manufacturing in Nigeria will improve the nation’s economic system.
“With the present development, farming within the nation is not for subsistence or interest, it gives the wanted elixir for many Nigerians who had been hitherto mere shoppers of foodstuffs, to change into producers.
“In the identical vein, the availability of monetary assist to Nigerian farmers by way of the Anchor Debtors’ Programme of the Federal Authorities has tremendously boosted meals manufacturing in Nigeria.
”Farmers had been supplied with inputs and implements corresponding to improved seeds, assorted fertiliser, herbicides, pesticides,” he mentioned.
Attajidi nevertheless, mentioned agriculture loans ought to be at very low curiosity to boost manufacturing and institution of agro-industries.
He known as for assist for rice millers to boost the standard of their merchandise in step with worldwide requirements.
“This may very well be performed via the availability of extra coaching and easy equipment for sorting the commodity, rice graders, and electrical dryers.
“Furthermore, it’s going to additional increase native manufacturing for home consumption and export therefore, increase the nation’s economic system,” Attajidi mentioned.
An agricultural officer, Malam Kabiru Sani, mentioned Worldwide Fund for Agricultural Improvement (IFAD) has been supporting rice and wheat farmers in some native authorities areas of Sokoto State.
Sani mentioned the assist is in collaboration with Nationwide Agricultural Seed Council of Nigeria and Inexperienced Agriculture West African Firm of China.
He confirmed that IFAD has distributed about 800 hand pumps to farmers, constructed 1,078 tube wells, 17 boreholes and 27 livestock consuming factors.