By Fatima Muraina
Rice farmers in Ondo state have called on governments to make deliberate efforts to help counter the challenges militating against food production.
The Chairman of Sunshine Rice Farmers Association, Mr George Oladapo said this in an interview with The Hope.
He said farmers can only make meaningful contribution on food production if government make proactive move to increase productivity of farmers.
According to him, the state has what it takes to produce, feed the nation and export to earn foreign exchange, but that farmers are not enjoying government’s partronage as their contemporaries in the northern part.
The attitude of government is very key to increase in productivity but what we have enjoyed over the time is our security so to speak. Other incentives must be put in place .” He expressed.
He declared that the state has enough fertile land to surpass the north in terms of food production, but that without much of the incentives like chemicals and herbicides, the production chances are very limited.
While responding to the high cost of rice, Oladapo attributed it to expensive factors of production even when they have enough land for the cultivation.
His words: ” the unit of electricity gas has gone very high, the price of diesel is not in our favour, transportation had risen, labourers charges has risen and when you put all these factors into consideration, we have no choice than to increase our prices and the factors of production are mainly market forces which must be taken into consideration to avoid running at a loss”
He called for a collection of pool of fund to address these issues which he said could be averted.
Oladapo who disclosed that farmers have been able to do a lot of channelisation to avert flooding, appealed to government for assistance, pointing particularly to national emergency management authority and that of the state in addressing the challenges of flooding so that their efforts will not be lost to flood.
Oladapo who affirmed the need for fuel subsidy to reflect on food, especially rice , appreciated the Federal government’s intention for assuring to vote money into major areas of food production in rice, maize, wheat and cassava which he hoped would be implemented accordingly.