Mr Romanus Ezeh, the Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Enugu State chapter, has decried inadequate farming tools and inputs for its members in the state.
Ezeh made this known to News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Thursday.
He said that challenges facing the farmers included land preparation, inadequate machines, inputs, fertilisers and finance.
The chairman said that land was not necessarily farmers’ problem but the tractors that would cut down trees and clear the farm lands.
”There are not enough machines to assist the farmers in tilling and harrowing as the available ones are dilapidated and others are malfunctioning.
”Farmers hardly get inputs such as seeds for planting and they need quality and improved seeds of different varieties for good yield.
”We also face challenges of inadequate and lack of fertilisers at times and high cost at times other times, which discourage farmers.
”All is not complete without soft loan and grants made available to farmers as farmers need finance for large produce and quality produce,” he said.
Ezeh said that lots of finances were also needed for commercial farming, adding that the government should consider such to the farmers.
”More importantly, processing of the agricultural produce in Enugu at the moment are not available for processing of grains, flour and starch which are in high demand,” he said.
Ezeh called on the state and the Federal Governments to come to the aid of farmers in making available things that would solve the problems of farming in the state.
He urged the authorities to provide the needs of the farmers through the association in the state so that the real farmers would have access to them at the right time and at affordable prices.
Speaking on how middlemen should assist farmers, Ezeh said that they should use their agro products to assist the farmers at affordable rates.
”Middlemen like the agro dealers should use their agro products to help farmers by making their fertilisers available.
”The fertilisers either organic or inorganic, pesticides and others relevant to farming to enable farmers have large yield.
”They can help farmers through organising symposium, workshops to educate them on how to apply products and how to handle instruments,” Ezeh said.
Ezeh said that farmers in the state needed a place to safeguard their products, which would result to adequate inputs for next season.