Abdulahi Sule, Nasarawa state governor has decried the situation where local farmers fail to achieve appropriate yield per hectare, mostly due to wastages suffered in the process of planting to the point of harvest.
Governor Sule made this known while delivering a keynote address at this year’s United Nations Food Summit Exploratory Dialogue for the North Central Region in Lafia.
The summit was organised in collaboration with the Nasarawa State Government and Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
The governor noted that wastages can deprive a farmer from achieving appropriate yield, with local farmers cultivating one or two hectares of land for rice production, harvesting only about three instead of ten tons of rice, with appropriate farming inputs such as proper irrigation, herbicides, among others.
He pointed out that local farmers producing sugarcane suffer similar fate, with poor yield of between five to six tons per hectare, as against ten to eleven tons when appropriate measures are taken to protect the crops.
The governor lamented how farmers suffer huge wastages, sometimes ranging from between 40 to 50 percent.
“I believe these are some of the areas that if you concentrate, they can assist, guide and protect our farmers but more importantly, improve their economic viability,” he stated.
Sule equally commended the UN for conceiving the idea of organising summit, aimed at providing food security, reducing hunger, as well as address prevalence of malnutrition, geared towards building a sustainable food system.
“It’s against this background that we must, as a matter of necessity begin to the address the end food system by initiating deliberate policies that will ensure that ordinary citizens in Nigeria, are not deprived the basic needs of food and adequate nutrition,” he said.
The governor appreciated the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, for the choice of Nasarawa State to host the all important historic occasion, considering the strategic location of Nasarawa State, within the North central zone, which is also predominantly agrarian in nature.
Governor, Abdullahi Sule, again commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s positive policies, programmes and initiatives, gearing towards the nation’s economic revolution as well as encouraging economic diversification in the area of agriculture.
He urged the facilitators and participants drawn across the North Central states to evolve means of curbing wastages suffered by local farmers in the country.
The governor who listed cash transfer scheme and steps taken to encourage small holder farmers and youths, said that his administration has seen agriculture as viable business, that is attracting well known commercial farmers to Nasarawa State.
Sule added that his government had not only taken far-reaching steps in line with the policy thrust of the Federal Government, but has since keyed into the FG’s policy on agriculture and nutrition, with a view to ensuring food sustainability, in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs goal No. 2), of achieving zero hunger by the year2030.
He said the amount of wastages during cropping season and post-harvest loses experienced by local farmers were responsible for the increasing food scarcity and hunger in the country.
Sule, while thanking the representatives of development partners that graced the occasion, he therefore, appealed to facilitators and participants at the event, drawn across the North Central zone, to proffer ways of curbing these wastages, with a view to improving the economic wellbeing of local farmers.
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