By Gami Tadanyigbe
Some commercial farmers in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on the Federal Government to assist farmers with credit facilities to enable farmers to boost food production in the country.
The farmers, who spoke in separate interviews on Friday, said adequate credit facilities would assist government to achieve its policy on food sufficiency.
Mr Zakari Sabo, a rice farmer in Gwagwalada, said the inability of farmers to access credit facilities was a setback to food production, adding that adequate funding would grow the country’s agricultural production.
“We farmers are facing preservation problems because we lose between 30 and 35 per cent of some of our farm produce arising from inadequate funds.
“When we go to banks for loans, they demand collateral that are not realistic from any ordinary farmer.
“There is need for the government to provide farmers with some incentives like soft loans that will enable us boost food production,” he said.
Sabo said that there were too many conditions for accessing credit facilities which were far from the reach of peasant farmers.
Mr Simon Luka, a cassava farmer in Kwali, said additional financing through FADAMA programmes would assist farmer clusters in FCT with comparative advantage to increase food production and productivity.
He, however, added that access to credit facilities by farmers would also provide “market infrastructure” to reduce post-harvest loses and facilitate storage and preservation techniques.
“The budget for agriculture is always low every year and is not enough to drive the country’s economy.
“Adequate credit facilities will also encourage people to venture into farming and be a lucrative business,” he said.
Alhaji Yunusa Alkali, an irrigation farmer in Kuje Area Council, called on the government to provide grants to agro-processors and crop producers to facilitate agricultural value-chain in the country. (NAN)