By Olajide Idowu
Osogbo, Nov. 5, 2020 All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Osun chapter, has decried unavailability of tractors in the state for its 431, 000 registered members.
Alhaji Sulaimon Araokanmi, the State Chairman of association made this known in an interview with newsmen in Osogbo on Thursday.
While expressing his displeasure for the challenges the members are facing, Araokanmi said the association had met with the state government officials to proffer solution to their challenges .
“AFAN has met with the state governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola to tender our challenges and asked for support from the state government to ease the suffering and pains we go through in our operations.
“We have asked the state government for financial assistance, because farming had gone beyond subsistence farming to agricultural business.
“We also asked the government to provide tractors for us because there is no single tractor in the whole state that farmers can use to cultivate.
Araokanmi said that it had not been easy for the farmers adding that it was costly to cultivate hectares of land manually.
“It is so bad that there is no single tractor anywhere in this state that farmers can hire or that is even available for farmers’ operation.
“The governor has promised to assist us, but paucity of fund has been a restraining factor for the state government
“The governor said he would have attended to our requests some weeks ago, but the issue of the EndSARS and the violence and looting that followed prevented him, but promised he would do something for us soon.”
Araokanmi however, commended the efforts of vibrant young farmers in the state who had taken the initiative of moving from just farming to food processing value chain with the little financial resources available to them.
He said he had solicited for more funds for young farmers from the government to expand their agricultural business operation.
He promised that if money was made available, there would be sufficient food in the state and by extension to the rest of the country.
The AFAN chairman commended the anchor borrower’s programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Araokanmi also urged the Federal Government to deal directly with grassroots farmers instead of politicians who claimed to be farmers.
He alleged that those unreal farmers usually “corner the packages and benefits that are meant for the local farmers in the state”.