Omu-Aran (Kwara) – An Agriculture Extension Officer, Mr Dele Anthony, has urged farmers in the country to be less dependence on the application of chemicals on their farms.
Anthony told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Omu-Aran, Kwara, that there was need to educate farmers on the use of chemical by extension officers to guard against infections.
“To reduce exposure to hazards and emergencies, it is hoped that farmers will be adequately informed,” Anthony said.
He said that most farmers are not trained or properly equipped to handle and make use of chemicals on their farms.
According to him, extension officers have always encouraged farmers to adopt what we called “zero or minimum tillage” as a way of controlling weeds rather than use of chemicals.
“This is contrary to the usage of herbicides and pesticides all the time, which they even misapplied.
“We have also instructed farmers to burn dry grass after harvesting and to adopt early planting and hand pull the weeds as a cultural method of controlling it.
“If minimum tillage is not adopted, then total killer herbicides can be used whenever they need to control weeds using chemicals,” Anthony said.
He said most farmers who had adopted the technology were already experiencing its effectiveness with less resistance.
`Karate’ in the past and now `Glyphopshate’ are being used by farmers in the act of controlling weed on their farms,” he said.
Anthony also advocated for the use of organic fertiliser, adding that it poses no threat to farm crops and animals.
“Herbicides destroy soil micro organisms, pesticides have direct side effect on humans.
“People living in the rural areas are the most affected in this regard.
“If fertiliser residuals flow into a stream, they could drink it unknowingly and such poses great risk to their lives,” he said
The agricultural expert also advised farmers to watch out for `African gall midge’ a particular rice weed species which he said had defied all control measures.
“They are known to affect rice to the extent of negating productiveness, even after harvesting,” Anthony said. (NAN)