Some farmers in Enugu State have demanded for better roads and storage facilities for perishable produce such as vegetables in the state.
Some of the vegetable farmers say majority of the vegetable farmers dread going to the market to sell their produce because of the bad roads.
According to them, lack of storage facilities also worsen the situation as farmers incur huge losses and are forced to sell at cheaper rates at roadsides.
Ijeoma Olisa, who sells spinach popularly known as ‘green’ said that most farmers prefer selling vegetables by the roadside at cheaper prices because of their perishable nature.
“The markets are far from us and the roads are bad, it is difficult to get our goods to the markets,’’ she said.
Kate Umeh, a waterleaf farmer said farmers of highly perishable produce such as vegetables were not encouraged by the poor road to have large farms.
“The condition of the roads has remained a serious challenge for vegetable farmers, who find it very difficult getting their produce to the market.
“This leads to serious financial losses and it is discouraging farmers from cultivating large farmlands for fear of how to sell after huge harvest.
“Farmers will be very happy if Enugu State government improve the conditions of the roads by reconstructing them,“ she said.
Umeh said that the government would also help perishable produce farmers by constructing new roads that could to enable farmers have easy access to the market from their farms.
Uju Agu, an okra farmer said that the main challenge faced by vegetables farmers after harvest was how to store and preserve them.
“Vegetables need cool environment to remain fresh before they are taken to the market.
“Many of us farmers cannot afford to generate electricity on our own and not all of us can also afford refrigerated storage facilities.
“Refrigerated storage facilities for our vegetables will enable farmers to minimise losses after harvesting their produce as it will make them remain fresh,“ she said.
Agu said that the Enugu State government should help vegetable farmers by providing facilities for storage of harvested produce.
She said that if vegetable farmers have access to storage facilities, it would make them available all year round.