Makurdi – Some farmers in Benue on Wednesday appealed to the state government to establish processing factories in order to reduce post harvest wastage of farm produce.
A cross section of the farmers, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), lamented that they were experiencing huge wastage due to lack of processing factories.
Mr Fave Iorwashima, a tomato farmer, said that many farmers were unwilling to venture into tomato cultivation because of the wastage.
He said that if there were factories to process the produce to a finished good, many farmers would be encouraged to go into it.
Also speaking, Mrs Joyce Yande, a pepper farmer, complained that due to lack of processing factories, farmers cultivating perishable crops, often disposed their farm produce at give away prices.
Mr Francis Ikyo, who is a citrus farmer, appealed to the government to establish cottage industries in citrus grown areas so that it could be processed into juice.
Ikyo stressed the need to establish cottage industry, saying that it would add value to the farmers produce.
Another citrus farmer, Mr Iorliam Afia, said that since the creation of the state in 1976 no government had established fruit processing industries in the state.
Afia stated that because of poor government attention, farmers who devoted large expanse of land to citrus trees were now regretting the colossal loses they incurred every year.
“Many of the local government areas in Benue North East Senatorial districts have large farms with citrus and other fruits.
“If fruit processing factories are established in the state they will not lack raw materials all year round,’’ he said.
Afia, therefore, appealed to the state government to establish fruit processing industries in the area.
He added that such cottage factory would also boost the government’s internally generated revenue. (NAN)