An agriculture extension officer, Mr Nathaniel Adetunji, has called on farmers in the country to embrace dry season farming to boost food production in the country.
Adetunji made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara.
According to him, dry season farming will promote all-year-round activities and increase food production.
“This will, in turn, help to reduce poverty, food insufficiency and the menace of unemployment,” he said.
Adetunji said the present administration’s agriculture initiatives, such as the Anchor Borrowers Programme, Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, and the much-publicised Food Security Council, were veritable platforms to achieve success in dry season farming.
He said engaging in dry season farming would improve food production and more income by keeping farmers busy on their farms all year round.
He, however, said there was the need for the Federal Government to exhibit strong political will and accord top priority to promoting dry season farming in its programmes and policies. He maintained that potential dry season farmers required adequate fund to achieve all-year farming.
According to him, inadequate rainfall as forecasted for some regions could pose serious challenges to farmers in meeting up with their food production target.
Adetunji, who noted that dry season farming was capital intensive, called for more adequate budgetary allocation for the sector to reduce poverty and unemployment.
He said the recent decline in the global prices of crude oil was enough reason for the authority to give the sector the necessary attention to bail the country out of food insufficiency challenges.
“I think it is time the Federal Government gave priority attention to increasing its budget provision for agriculture, especially dry season farming for the 2017 planting season.
“There are lots of expectations from all tiers of government to turn around the socio-economic fortune of the country by utilising our God-given land and natural resources for our benefit.
“With increase in production of crops like rice, wheat, sorghum and vegetables, this will go a long way to complement the wet season harvest and output in meeting up with the desired target.
“Dry Season farming, if well planned and implemented, would allow for all-year- round farming and is capable of solving the nation’s poverty and food insufficiency challenges,” Adetunji said.
He also called for the provision of modern storage facilities and markets to assist farmers actualise their high production target and income.