By Yinusa Ishola
Otun-Ekiti, Dec. 31, 2020 Mr Abogunrin John, a community leader in Otun-Ekiti, Ekiti State, has called on the Federal Government to channel resources toward ensuring the smooth take-off of the 2021 planting season.
John, who is also a farmer, gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Otun-Ekiti, headquarters of Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
He said that the call was to facilitate the prompt release of farm inputs such as seedlings, chemicals, fertilizers, tractors to indigent farmers.
According to him, past experience has shown that the late release of such items was responsible for low productivity, yield and income for farmers.
John said that prompt provision of inputs would encourage more people, especially youths and women, to embrace farming both as a vocation and business venture.
He described agriculture, especially mechanised farming, as the veritable alternative toward promoting and developing the nation’s economy rather than dependence on oil.
The community leader said the country could not afford to lag behind in agriculture in 2021, owing to the experience of 2020 that was characterised by COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is high time government and its agencies set machinery in motion and channell resources toward early take-off of planting season with adequate supply of farm inputs.
” Records have shown that releasing seedlings, fertilizers, tractors, and credit facility to farmers very late has been counterproductive.
“The experience of the outgoing year is still very glaring when the rain unexpectedly ceased completely toward the last three months of the year.
“Early release of inputs to farmers to boost production would have saved the day, especially for dry season farmers during those periods,” he said
John, however, praised the various interventions by the Federal Government geared toward improving agriculture productivity in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.
” I want the government to continue with such interventions and initiatives in 2021, to attract more youths and women into farming,” he said.
By Yinusa Ishola