Abiodun OBA |
The Association of Government Farm Settlers, Ipapo-Iseyin branch which represented farmers in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to evolve new measures to assist farmers determine weather forecast and also provide basic supports to genuine farmers.
In a statement signed by their Chairman, Mr. Kazeem Alabi, The Association of Farm Settlers, Ipapo-Iseyin branch made this disclosure at the weekend, after an emergency meeting they held to address the plight of their members.
The farmers claimed the call became necessary in view of the enormous loss in the year 2020 planting season as a result of failed flood forecast and lack of government input, which they claimed, might cause maize scarcity in 2021.
The association pointed out that its members had gone to access loans from commercial banks and from private individuals when they heard about the heavy rain forecast, which they believed would assist in late maize planting.
“Our fear for now is what will be the fate of poor Nigerians that depend largely on basic food items that are sourced from maize, it is easy to predict that there will be scarcity of maize next year with what happened this year, unless government quickly evolve a way out to assist farmers to surmount this problem.”
They equally extended their call to the governor of Oyo State to keep his promise of extending the coverage of funding for farm settlements to their association which represented the ten local government areas in Oke-Ogun from the recent loan accessed by the administration to develop the farm settlements.
“Our governor in Oyo State has shown an unparalleled love for farmers in Oyo State and we can all see that he is out to make agriculture the major pillar to promote the State’s economy, we are calling on him to please extend the funding from the loan for farm settlement to us at Oke-Ogun,” Alabi pleaded.
The farmers claimed many of them had decided against planting maize this year due to unstable rainfall but later went into planting immediately the federal and Oyo State government started a flood forecast campaign, which they thought would come to pass.
“Many of our members that have decided against planting maize this year because of the poor and unstable rainfall heard of the forecast from the federal government through the meteorology department as well as the rigorous campaign from Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources that there would be lot of rain towards the end of October and November and sought for fund to plant maize.”
“It is very unfortunate that the failed forecast led to a staggering loss to our members, they lost millions in bank loans and borrowing from family and friends to plant maize, many cannot even pass by their farms to see the withered maize farms, we are so hurt by this occurrence.”
“In as much as we are not blaming the federal and state government for issuing flood alerts to safeguard lives and properties, including those of farmers, we are using this opportunity to appeal to them to come to our aid, our members are running from pillars to post to repay loans they took from banks and from individuals.”
Alabi said the two layers of government and the Central Bank of Nigeria should put in the best measures to avert food scarcity, especially scarcity of maize in 2021 as most maize farmers in Nigeria lost their crops to the drought.
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