Agriculture

Association calls for mechanisation of yam land preparation

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The National Association of Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers (NAYFPM), has called for the urgent need to mechanise yam land preparation for planting of yam to avoid scarcity.

Prof. Simon Irtwange, thre president of NAYFM, made this call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Abuja.

Irtwange entertained the fears that if yam land preparation is not mechanised in few years’ time, there might not be enough farmers left to make mounds and heaps for planting yam.

“We want yam to be mechanised because yam is presently cultivated on 5.4 million hectares in Nigeria.

“Yam production from the beginning to the end is all manual and to produce enough yams to meet local demand, the industry and export, there is the need for us to go into mechanisation.

Most importantly, the reason is that yam farmers are no longer willing to use hoes and cutlasses to make mounds and heaps that are used for planting yam,’’ Irtwange said.

He added that the population knowledgeable in making heaps and mounds are aging and young people are not in the villages, but in towns engaged in various businesses.

“It, therefore, becomes very urgent for us to mechanise the land preparation aspect by using ridges.

“Ridges will enable us to plant our yams and as well as enable us to meet the present  demand for yam nationally and internationally,’’ the president said.

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