Wheat farmers beg government for assistance to reduce losses, boost productivity

The Chairman, Wheat Farmers Association in Gombe State, Batari Dauda, has expressed concerned over the post-harvest losses of wheat farmers.
Dauda, said in Abuja, that they are soliciting for the intervention of the federal and state governments on efforts to boost wheat production.
He said that it was high time the government woke up to its responsibilities to actualise its plans to diversify the country’s economy, using agriculture.
“Wheat farmers in all the wheat-producing states under our platform have repeatedly expressed frustration on their post-harvest losses and the lack of access to quality seeds, among other inputs,’’ he said.
Dauda urged the government to intervene and facilitate the efforts of wheat farmers across the country to engage in massive wheat production in the 2017/2018 farming season to meet local requireme
The chairman said that the initial plans of wheat farmers to cultivate 10,000 hectares of wheat farms in Gombe State were cut short due to paucity of improved seeds.
“Our cultivation is limited by lack of quality seeds and farming implements. Most of our farmers complained that the available seeds have been planted and replanted for over five years.
“This has resulted in deterioration in terms of crop quality, as the crop yield will not be good.
“Initially, Lake Chad Research Institute brought us foundation seeds but the problem we had then was that the seeds, which were of good quality, were not sufficient.
“Those farmers who were able to plant the crop early enough harvested three to four tonnes on each hectare of farmland, while those that planted late realised between one and two tonnes per hectare,’’ he said.
Dauda, attributed the prevalence of sub-standard wheat seeds in the country to roadside purchase of grains without recourse to registered agro-inputs dealers.
He urged wheat farmers to always patronise certified seed producers for their seed purchases.