Farmers seek government collaboration to develop agriculture in the country
To boost productivity in agriculture in Nigeria, there should be effective collaboration between the federal, state and local government across the country.
The National Coordinator of the Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS), Retson Tedheke made this known when he spoke with journalists in Abuja.
Tedheke reiterated the need for investments in machineries, infrastructure, agro-processing and research.
Tedheke who revealed that the farmers group started the farm at Keffi in 2017 with over 3,000 hectares following President Muhammadu Buhari’s interest in agriculture, noted that the challenges militating against agricultural production include lack of synergy between the states and local governments in Nigeria.
He said the farmers were able to grow a N1.5 million investment in agriculture to N2 billion in two years following the commitment of cooperative members and support from the Federal Government despite challenges.
While narrating how they started, Tedheke said in 2017, they planted only Maize, but they encountered a serious setback after the price of Maize crashed, but they were again supported by its lender Kia Kia Bit Limited.
“When we started this place, we planted only Maize and got about 3000 tons, the price of Maize was horrible, Kia Kia again came in, stood as a bridge. Right now, we have a ranch that has over 500 animals, we are building a 10,000 animal ranch (5000 for fattening and 5000 for diary).
“As at today, we have a capacity for 100 tons per day rice mill, and we are increasing that capacity to over 1000 tons per day between now and the middle of 2020, we are opening up kenaf plantation. Nigeria spend about $600 million importing Kenaf, we are discussing with the Nasarawa State government to plant 1000 hectares of Kenaf.
He, however said currently, they have over 500 animals, 100 ton per day rice mill, construction of facilities to accommodate 10,000 animals and plans with the Nasarawa government to cultivate 1000 hectares of kenaf.