Nasarawa State Ministry of Agriculture and stakeholders are working to generate a database for dry season farmers to enhance proper sector intervention.
Emmanuel Alanana, programme manager of the State’s Agricultural Development Programme (NADP), made this known in an interview on Saturday in Lafia.
Mr Alanana said this was in line with the recent directive by the governor to the ministry and relevant agencies to harness the potential for dry-season farming in the state.
He added that they were working with the respective farmers’ associations to register more dry-season farmers.
Mr Alanana said, “We have just met with the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and discussed the need for more farmers to embrace dry season farming.
“As from next week, we would commence registration of more dry season farmers for us to have a database that would make for better planning and intervention.”
He said the state had huge potential for dry-season farming, adding that its yields were higher than those of the rain-fed season if given the attention it usually required.
The programme manager said that apart from the attention to dry season farming, the state government has been collaborating with the federal government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in the value chain development programme for rice and cassava.
Mr Alanana said the state recently received a grant from the Japanese Embassy for mini harvesters and power tillers and sought more interventions.
The Commissioner for Agriculture in Kogi, Timothy Ojoma, responding to the issue of dry season farming, said the government was adequately prepared for the take-off of the dry season farming activities.
Mr Ojoma disclosed that communities in the local government areas whose ecology supports dry-season farming had been identified, and sensitisation activities had commenced to enable them to perform optimally in food production in the state.
“Already, the Kogi Agricultural Development Project is at the forefront to actualise this project for optimal results, ” he said.
On the distribution of farm inputs to farmers, the commissioner disclosed that inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides, seedlings, particularly cassava cuttings, were given through various channels.
He gave various channels, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Kogi Agricultural Development Project, NG-Cares, and VCDP.
Mr Ojoma, who spoke on the sad side of farming, which is the post-harvest losses, especially of easily perishable commodities such as fruits, vegetables and fish, said such losses were reduced through the training of the farmers.
He further said that storage and processing facilities such as coolers and smoking kilns were procured and distributed to farmers in the state to prevent them from experiencing losses.