By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko
Farmers in Oyo State on Thursday expressed happiness following better yield experienced during their second set of maize harvesting in 2017.
Mr Olumide Ayinla, the state Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
He said the high yield was due to adequate rainfall and the sensitisation programme held for farmers on prevention of armyworm pest by research institute.
“We have better maize yield this year than last year because of the improvement in the rains, rice farmers also started planting about four weeks ago and the rice is germinating well.
“We hope the rain continues till November.
“Also the sensitisation on how to plant maize, prevent/reduce the armyworm pest invading maize farms, by research institute, especially Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) helped us to get the good yield.
“The herbicide sold to us at a subsidised rate at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture supported us too,” he said.
According to the chairman, the best time to plant cassava and water melon is between September and November as the two don’t require much water to germinate.
He, therefore, urged farmers to start planting the crops as soon as possible and hope for a good yield during the time of harvest.
Ayinla urged the Federal Government through the CBN to look into the loan issue the farmers applied for in 2016.
“We applied for loan from CBN since last year September but till now we have not seen anything, they promised it will be given to us within 31 days but now is getting to 13 months.
“Lack of fund is seriously affecting our farming, also lack of good roads to our farms; Fulani herdsmen invading our farms are really giving us concern and limiting our production,” he said.
He further appealed to the state government to provide storage facilities for farmers to store and preserve produce to avoid scarcity in dry season.
“They can divide us into three zones in Oyo state for example and create the facilities in the zones, that will still be better for us,” Ayinla said.