The Association of Small Scale Agro-Allied Producers of Nigeria (ASSAPIN) has called on farmers in Nasarawa State to take advantage of the predictions by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in planting their crops this season.
According to him, most farmers in the state are totally ignorant of the predictions by NIMET and its implications on their farming activities.
“Farmers are growing crops without bothering on the reasons NIMET is predicting weather forecast on daily basis and its implications on their farming activities.
‘When farmers do not work in line with the predictions by experts, they can easily fall victims of bad weather, flood or shortage of rain,” he said.
The president’s call became imperative due to the predictions by the agency that there might be less rainfall in the state in 2019.
He explained that based on this prediction, farmers should adopt what he called climate smart agriculture by planting improved variety crops that would not be damaged due to inadequate rainfall.
Jonathan also appealed to government at all levels to prioritise information services to farmers through the strengthening of the activities of extension workers.
He said that if the activities of extension workers were strengthened, it would benefit the farmers more than just supplying crops, fertilizer and grant support.
Similarly, Arigbabu Suleiman, Representative of Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), said that government needed to do more than just paying lip service to ensure food security in the country.
He explained that government was supposed to allocate 10 per cent of its budget to the agricultural sector to guarantee food security, saying that currently the sector was only allocated two per cent.
He said that food security would only be possible if the budgetary allocation to the sector was increased and measures were put in place to address farmer-herders’ conflicts.