IRRIGATION farmers in Borno have decried pest infestation ravaging their farmlands in the ongoing dry season.
They also called on government to provide modern preservation technologies to enhance processing and reduce damage to perishable produce.
A cross section of the farmers made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday at the Zabalmari Plantation in Jere Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Usman Ali, a tomato grower said that pests invaded tomato, cucumber and water melon was causing serious damage to the plants.
Ali said that pests infestation in the plantation resulted to lower yields during harvests, a trend which had exposed them to losses.
“We the farmers buy chemicals in the open market to spray the plants to control the pest.
“We buy chemical at exorbitant prices in these markets and spray in the farms to control the pest and these have caused heavy drains in our pockets,’’ he added.
Umar Shehu and Mustapha Isa, farmers, who corroborated the views of their colleagues, also called for modern preservation technologies to reduce wastage of perishable produce.
Mustapha said that lack of such technologies was making cultivation of perishable produce less attractive as it could not be preserved for longer period.
He noted that farmers sold their produce at lower rates at harvest to avoid counting losses.
Alhaji Hassan Muhammad, the Chairman of the Farmers Association in the area, disclosed that about 100 hectares of farmlands were cultivated by farmers this dry season.
Muhammad noted that pest infestation and lack of preservation technologies were some of the major challenges facing perishable growers.
He commended the military and other security agencies for the protection of farmers and improved security in the area.
NAN reports that some of the produce cultivated by farmers include tomato; onion; pepper, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, water melon and rice. (NAN)
– Mar. 29, 2019 @ 13:59 GMT |