The Vice President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Osun state South west Nigeria, Mr Moses Oladipupo, has called on the state government to do more to encourage graduates and youths to embrace farming business.
Oladipupo made the call during an interview with Journalists in Osogbo while speaking on the challenges facing farmers and sustaining food production in the country.
According to him, the government, at the federal state and local government level need to do more to encourage farmers, especially youths to go into agric business, in order to maintain and sustain food production in the future.
Mr Oladipupo said those practicing farming at the moment are mostly aged men and women who live in the rural areas, and this situation does not encourage the youths, knowing the kind of hardship these farmers are facing.
He said AFAN in Osun had however taken it upon itself to put in place programmes that makes farming attractive to youths , and young graduates that want to go into farming.
According to AFAN Vice President, the association facilitates farm lands, equipment and loans for youths who show interest in farming and who have joined the association with the aim of becoming practicing farmers adding that trainings and lectures were also organised for young farmers, all in a bid to empower and encourage attract more youths to join the farming sector.
Mr Oladipupo, however said that although the Federal Government had been reeling out policies and programmes to improve the farming sector, farmers , especially in Osun, wee yet to benefit from them.
He decried the stress farmers go through in the state to market their produce after harvest, calling on the state government to intervene to reduce the stress.
“It is not easy for farmers to cultivate and plant food crops and after harvesting them turn to sellers of the farm produce in the market again.
“Because farmers can not do everything, they rely on middlemen to buy their produce, but unfortunately these people dictate and determine how much they would buy the produce from their hands.
“And because most farm produce are perishables, and we equally don’t have storage facilities, we are forced to sell to them, in order not to incur total loss in terms of cost of production,” he explained.