By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Osun, farmer Kayode Afolabi, has called on government at all levels to support youths who venture into farming.
Afolabi made the call while fielding questions from journalists during an opening of Agric Training School and Exhibition of farm produces held at Osun Agric School, Osogbo.
He said majority of Nigerian youths who returned to the farm were being discouraged because of the challenges being faced.
“Majority of the youths that returned to farming recently are decrying the hardship they are facing in the course of their operations.
“Many are complaining of the old system of farming and lack of funds for their operations,’’ he said.
Speaking on the significance of the two days training which was declared open by the Osun state Governor, AFAN president said that the Association has been training and rendering other support services to members in order to enable them sustain their operations.
Afolabi noted that farmers were facing a lot of constraints in running their farm operations which necessitated the intervention of AFAN as an umbrella body.
He further explained that with the establishment of Osun Agric School in the state, many farmers would have the opportunity of enriching their knowledge on farming.
“At the moment, the association is giving member-farmers training on modern farming, educating them on crop preservation, helping them in procuring original farm chemicals and also teaching them on how to add value in whatever thing they are planting.
“We equally organise the two days training which the state governor came to declare open to let the state government know the challenges farmers are facing in their operations and also letting the officials know our importance, especially as it relates to sustaining food production and security.
“AFAN has always been looking out for the interest of farmers as we are in constant communication with the government to solicit for assistance for our farmers to boost their productivity.
“The former Government did a lot in agriculture, although could not really render all needed assistance owing to its financial situation, but the incumbent administration promised to give farmers adequate support and we are hoping that they build on it,” he said.
Afolabi, who said the little support AFAN had been giving to farmers in the state helped in boosting food production in the state, noted that bananas, oranges, mushroom and cocoa were surplus in the market.
The AFAN president said as the new planting season begins, government must quickly intervene and give farmers the needed support to boost agriculture.
“Government should give farmers and those interested in farming land, good training and funds while extension workers should be recruited to monitor farming operations and production.
“If government can provide needed tools and materials, youth farmers would have no reason to quit farming, ” he said.
He equally called on government to encourage small scale farmers, adding that most government policies and programmes only focus on commercial farmers.
He urged intending farmers who wish to enroll into the Osun Agric school to obtain their form which he said is just #1500.
He said the training is for all farmers regardless of their education qualification.
Afolabi noted that the training would show them that there are many crops that are more better economically than cocoa.
He stated some of the training given to the participants, saying apart from live stock , crop production processing , they were also taught how to embark on green house farming.
CityMirrorNews reports that the training was declared open by Governor Gboyega Oyetola who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Benedict Alabi, other government officers, representative of Honour Minister, Mr Joseph Ogunwale, Regional South West,Osun fist lady, SSG, Chief of Staff to the state Governor among others.
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