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Lagos, May 18, 2023 Mrs Abimbola Fagoyinbo-Francis, the Secretary, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos State Chapter, has urged the incoming administration to adopt policies that will support agricultural mechanisation in the country.
Fagoyinbo-Francis, a cassava processor and packaging farmer, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
She said that majority of farmers still rely on manure or traditional method of farming to produce food for the nation.
She added that to achieve food self-sufficiency in the country, government must invest massively in mechanised farm implements and machineries that would improve productivity.
Fagoyinbo-Francis added that many smallholder farmers depend on services of manual labourers for land clearing, land preparation, planting and harvesting.
The farmer said that there was the need for massive investment on tractor, combine harvester, trucks, cultivator, seed drill, harrow, transplanter, subsoiler, plough and fertiliser spreader among others.
She said that only agriculture mechnisation would guarantee food security and self-sufficiency in the country.
Fagoyinbo-Francis stressed that the present practice by farmers cannot bring food sufficiency to the country.
Fagoyinbo-Francis said that the incoming government must formulate policies, increase budgetary allocation and facilitate investment into the agric space to guarantee food security.
According to her, only mechanisation can drive the revolution in agriculture that will in turn guarantee food security and self-sufficiency in our country.
“The incoming administration have a critical role to urgently invest in agriculture mechanisation to increase the nation’s food production.
“Full mechanisation encourages farmers to embark on large scale production, thereby increasing production as well as improve quality of farm produce.
“All these mechanisation that we are talking about, it is high time the Federal Government look into it.
“Thank God we are having another new president coming in very soon, it is time for agriculture to be fully mechanised.
“It is time for us now to really go into mechanisation because manual labour is telling on us the farmers,” she said.
Fagoyinbo-Francis urged the Federal Government to empower smallholder farmers by allocation of more lands to increase food production.
She said the farmers were spending too much resources on manual labour adding that this could have impact on price of food commodity
“Manual labour is too expensive and it is costing the farmers a lot. It is costing farmers times three and we are not making the gain.
“If we have tractors, plow and harvester, at least, that it will ease our work as farmers instead of us using our body, sweat, and energy.
“Mechanisation will do the work for us. It will ease our work and increase production.
“As a nation, we need to increase our capacity; how can you expect me as a farmer to plow just one hectare and say I want to make profit in it, it is too small.
“The Federal Government should think of how to empower smallholder farmers by giving us more lands.
“We can be in a cluster group of five or 10 so that we can be monitored and evaluated.
“Many of these manual labourers are getting old, thereby they cannot complete the job is a stipulated time.
“With full mechanisation, we don’t need to depend on manual labour to survive, if we have these sophisticated tools, it will save a us a lot,” she said.