Mr Moses Oladipupo, Vice-Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Osun chapter has decried the high cost of farming inputs, ago-chemicals and lack of market for farm produce.
Oladipupo, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo, expressed concern that farmers in the state were facing numerous challenges.
He enumerated other challenges facing framers in the state to include, operating at a huge loss, high cost of land cultivation, lack of farming implements
The vice-chairman said that the high cost of land cultivation, if juxtaposed with the selling prices of produce after harvest always leave farmers at a loss.
Oladipupo said:”Farmers are not happy. We are selling our produce at a loss because we don’t have a choice than to sell them.
“The cost we buy chemicals and fertiliser is getting more expensive, when we harvest our produce, what we sell don’t cover the cost of money we used to cultivate the crops.
“Farmers are really suffering; we don’t have means of preserving our crops.
“The market women that come to the farms to buy our produce always cheat us because they serve as intermediaries.
“They will buy cheap from us and sell three times the price to the people.
“We are just toiling and sweating to produce food while intermediaries rip-off on our sweat and profit because we don’t have the platform to market our produce.
“If we don’t sell because we feel we are being cheated, the harvested crops will spoil due to lack of preservation.
“If we still don’t sell because we don’t want to incur losses, we can’t survive because we will go hungry.”
Oladipupo called on the state government to fulfill its promises to farmers, adding that farmers were operating and surviving on their own.
He said members of the chapter needed government assistance; especially the provision of farmers’ markets to sell produce and reduce post harvest losses.
Oladipupo also urged the state government to provide farmers with modern structures to preserve their harvested crops to enable them sell at reasonable price later.
He also called on the government to subsidise prices of farming chemicals and fertiliser to boost the operation of farmers and for them to make good returns on their investments. (NAN)