By Nicholas Obisike
Mr Romanus Eze, the Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Enugu State chapter, says the biggest challenge of farmers in the country is herders’ harassment in their farmlands.
Eze told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday that farmers’ constant attacks by the herders had put fears in them.
He said that many farmers had abandoned their farmlands for fear of attack adding that it posed a serious problem to food security not only in the state but Nigeria at large.
“Lots of farmers face herders attack in Enugu State and this challenge makes it difficult for farmers to access their farm lands.
“Most of the farmers are into the Anchor Borrowers Programme and destruction of farmers’ lands by herders becomes a nightmare for them,” he said.
According to Eze, the development has made prices of farm inputs and foodstuff to be high in markets.
He lamented the effect of untimely delivery of Anchor Borrowers Programme inputs to farmers, adding that such did not speak well for the programme and the farmers.
“Many farmers have been profiled into Anchor Borrowers Programme on Cassava, Maize and Rice in Enugu State.
“Most of the inputs have not been delivered to the farmers and this is the fifth month of the year.
“Timing of inputs delivery matters a lot because delivering the input out of the season will be of no benefit to the farmers,” he said.
The chairman noted that the first quarter of the 2021 farming season had gone and yet government had not flagged-off the farming season.
According to him, most farmers, with or without the government intervention, have already started farming.
“The farmers started with land preparation in December and January depending on the climate change.
“Now, many of the farmers have started planting, though the rain is not steady.
“Government needs to support and encourage farmers with quality seeds and advise them on how to go about commercial farming,” Eze said. (NAN)