Government-subsidised farm inputs for this year’s farming activities – to ensure efficiency and effectiveness with good yields to boost food security – have been released to farmers ahead of the rainy season.
The early release of inputs is to reduce the stress farmers go through in accessing them during the season, and also encourage more to venture into the sector to grow more food for feeding the nation. Government, in collaboration with some institutions, has provided some capacity training for both farmers and extension officers in the farming communities to help enhance good agronomic practices and maximise the yield of crops.
Northern Regional Agricultural Officer for Statistics and Research, Alhassan Abdul-Fatawu, disclosed this to the B&FT in response to measures put in by the department toward this year’s farming season; and noted that government in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture has identified some challenges confronting the sector, hence the decision to release the chemicals and provide the training.
This, he said, will enable the two to assess the impact after the season, and any challenges that might be detected will be addressed for the next season. “The region has arable land that can grow more crops to feed the nation; and, also, the committed farmers need some support to increase their acreages if we really want to ensure food sufficiency in the country,” he said.
According to him, there is still an abundance of food in the system, with truckloads of yams and groundnuts being transported to the southern sector; and so the country might not envisage a food crisis. Farmers who are into groundnut have finished planting while others are still cultivating, and the germination is effective due to the nature of the soil he said.
Touching on fall armyworm, he noted that due to the awareness-creation done, most farmers are now aware of the worms and the remedy used to fight them. He said farmers pray that the rainfall pattern will be normal in order for them to produce more.
He also advised farmers to collaborate with the extension officer assigned them at the various farming communities for better services if they want to maximise yield – adding that farmers should report any abnormal cases found on their farm to the agric officers for quick redress.