Osun farmers, under the umbrella of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), on Saturday, decried the loss of their working capital, due to their inability to store or preserve their farm produce after harvest.
Mr Moses Oladipupo, the Deputy Chairman of AFAN in Osun made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo.
Oladipupo said lot of farmers in the state lose up to 60 per cent of their farm produce because of their inability to sell, preserve or store them after harvest.
Oladipupo said farmers, especially the aged had become frustrated and were just farming because they had no other business to do.
He said 95 per cent of real farmers operating in the state were suffering because they lacked funds, had no access to bank loans and government support or interventions for their operation.
“Farmers are suffering, they are frustrated, majority of them are only surviving on subsistence farming.
“There is no market for farm produce in the state and buyers/middlemen just buy produce off farmers at ridiculous prices because they know the farmers are disadvantaged.
“Using myself as a case study, I have two acres of cassava farm that I don’t have market for and soon they will begin to rot in the ground, the same applies to maize farmers, pepper farmers and others.
“Because we lack means of storing or preserving our produce, we are often forced to sell them at ridiculous prices to middlemen and this often leads to loss of operational capital for farmers,” he said
Oladipupo urged the Federal Government to create a section through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, to assist farmers in the preservation of farm produce.
He said the section or department would help in teaching farmers how to preserve or store their produce and help to setting up storage facilities across all local government areas that would assist rural farmers to store their produce.
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