Farmers in Oyo State under the umbrella of the Association of Farm Settlers have said there will be a shortage in the supply of maize in the state in 2021.
The farmers, who gave the prediction on Sunday at an emergency meeting held in Iseyin, Oko-Ogun area of Oyo state, lamented over the impacts of failed flood forecast and lack of government input for agriculture.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, Chairman of the association, Alabi Kazeem, explained that the association farmer members lost millions in the 2020 planting season to lack of government support.
This, he said, was in addition to the lack of farm implements and manpower which made many farmers decide not to plant maize in the incoming year.
“Many of our members have decided not to plant maize again because of the poor and unstable rainfall. When they heard about the government’s forecast through the Meteorology Department as well as the rigorous campaign from Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, they thought there would be a lot of rainfall towards the end of October and November and sought for the funds to plant maize.
“It is very unfortunate that the failed forecast led to a staggering loss to our members. They lost millions of bank loans and borrowings from family and friends used to plant the maize. Many cannot even pass by their farms to see the withered maize farms. We are so hurt by this occurrence.
“In as much as we are not blaming the Federal and State government for issuing flood alerts to safeguard lives and properties, including those of farmers, we are using this opportunity to appeal to them to support us. Our members are running from pillars to post to repay loans they took from banks and from individuals,” the communiqué read in part.
The farmers also called on the Oyo State Government to fulfill its promise to extend the coverage of funding for farm settlements in the state to their association.
“Our fear for now is what will be the fate of poor Nigerians that depend largely on basic food items that are sourced from maize. It is easy to predict that there will be scarcity of maize next year with what happened this year unless government quickly evolves a way out to assist farmers to surmount this problem.
“Our governor in Oyo State has shown an unparalleled love for farmers in Oyo State and we can all see that he is out to make agriculture the major pillar to promote the State’s economy, we are calling on him to please extend the funding from the loan for farm settlement to us at Oke-Ogun,” Alabi said.
The Association further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to develop new measures to assist farmers in determining weather forecast while providing basic supports to genuine farmers.
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