“Our farmers cannot go to their farms because bandits and kidnappers are occupying forests across the country.”
The Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN) says it has signed an agreement with some firms in the potato value chain to boost its production in the country.
The National President of POFAN, Daniel Okafor, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Minna.
“We have signed agreements with some firms to boost potato production in Nigeria in order to meet local and foreign demands,’’ Mr Okafor said.
He said that 280,000 registered farmers in the country are into the cultivation and processing of potato.
Mr Okafor added that a lot of farmers were into the cultivation of the produce because of its economic and health benefits.
“Potato flour can be used to bake cake, bread and biscuits. Potato can also be used to make juice, puree and chips, while the peels can be used to make animal feeds,’’ he said.
The POFAN president said that potato and its leaves could be eaten raw and use to make tea and salad, adding that it contains high-level vitamin `A’ which help to build the immune system.
He appealed to the federal government to intensify efforts in tackling the current security challenges to enable farmers to go to their farms.
“Our farmers cannot go to their farms because bandits and kidnappers are occupying forests across the country. No farmer has the capacity to dare them except government because they kill, rape, kidnap farmers and seize farm produce,” he said.
Mr Okafor also appealed for government to assist the farmers with inputs in order to boost production.