With success stories of good harvests this year, and import restrictions which resulted in competitive prices for farm produce, farmers are warming up to expand their production nationwide.
Aisha Mohammad, the public-private partnership officer of FADAMA III, Additional Financing, in Niger State said they are encouraging farmers to produce more food for the country.
“We are trying to encourage them to make production in large quantities. Now that the federal government has banned importation, we are praying that by next year, the products that farmers are producing should be more than enough for Nigerians,” she also said.
Mrs Mohammed who spoke to these reporters at the Daily Trust agric conference, recently in Abuja, said their programme has been mandated to encourage rice and sorghum production and processing.
“We have the basic facilities and technologies to process these products in Niger State. For instance for rice, the FADAMA co-operative groups have all the technologies for the processing till it gets to the table. The farm activities though, are 50-50 – FADAMA would provide 50% and the farmers would also give 50%.
“In fact we have about 12 products here, which were produced from Shea butter. And all these are from our women in Niger State. We have different kinds of the soap made from Shea butter – we have the bar soap and the liquid soap,” Aisha explained.
Speaking on the problems confronting women in agriculture,the FADAMA III officer reiterated that their number one challenge is lack of money.
“We need money. Most of the farmers are not willing to use the collateral system of the bank. And that is a major challenge. Also we don’t have enough resources, if we do, we can enlarge the farmlands.
“Although, we source for the seeds for the farmers, we still need quality seeds, we also need fertilizers. We met with Indorama, to give us some of their fertilizers to test on our farmlands, if it is compatible with our farms, we would partner with them,” the farmer said.