By Obinna Unaeze
Minna – The Niger State chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) says it will organise its 1.5 million members in the state into corporative groups.
Alhaji Shehu Galadima, the state AFAN Chairman, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
He said that the measure, which was part of the association’s preparations for the 2017 cropping season, was particularly aimed at ensuring the full participation of farmers in various intervention programmes of government.
“We have concluded arrangements to organise our 1.5 million members into clusters of many farmers, as part of our preparations for this year’s cropping season.
“The grouping will also enable us to participate in all government intervention programmes in the agricultural sector,’’ he said.
Galadima said that the groupings would enable the farmers to access various loans and grants as well as other assistance made available for farmers.
“One of the criteria to key into government intervention programmes is by having registered farmer groups,’’ he said.
He also said that the arrangement would ensure that each group cultivated about 20 hectares of land per season.
“This will increase productivity, thereby creating more jobs and increasing the earnings of smallholder farmers,’’ he said.
Galadima, however, urged the three tiers of government to initiate quick intervention programmes, as the farmers were now waiting for the second and third rainfall before starting cultivation.
NAN recalls that AFAN on April 11 expressed joy over the first rainfall in Minna but advised farmers to delay crop planting until subsequent rains which have yet to come.