An Agronomist, Dr. Thaddaeus Thompson says NIgeria must focus on the enlightenment of small scale farmers before its agricultural sector can be viable.
Dr. Thompson made this known in an interview with Radio Nigeria on issues surrounding small scale farming and its development.
He stressed that the issues concerning small scale farming must be addressed for Nigeria to achieve recognition on the global agricultural scale.
The agricultural expert stated that farmers in the country can be extremely productive if risk management was applied to checkmate some of the factors and challenges facing the sector.
“Risk factors is meeting the small farmers and understanding why they have not improved. Some of the things we have found out in research conducted is that we need to educate the local farmers and bring them out of fear. A friend of mine into agricultural insurance said government had released 2 billion Dollars farmers loan, but they realized that most of the farmers did not show up for the loan” he stressed.
“these are some of the things, farmers must be educated on or the potential of Nigerian farmers will be impeded.”
He further stated that farmers should be given financial leverage “which refers to the use of borrowed funds.
Farmers do not go for these because they are afraid of the risk involved hence they need consultation to address the issues if they want to expand.
“If they want expansion they have to go for bigger loans which is not meant to produce the same quantity they are used to producing, this must be communicated to them.”
“The risk becomes very high for them but if they are allowed into certain areas of the supply chain that is how the cooperative sells, how the market moves, all this training is being given to them, it gives the farmers hope and reassurance that if they take investments and invest in their farms, they will make profit as expected.”
He advised the Nigerian government to minimize the risk in loans by educating farmers on borrowing processes adding that if they are better informed, their perceptions would be better.
He stated that farming should be made attractive for the younger generation.
“we have to bring technology into farming because we have noticed that the younger generation have not put in their interest into the sector.”
By Georgina Humphrey