A Farmer, Uche Ikenga, says delayed planting season and inconsistent rainfall may affect the 2020 food production season, amidst the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Ikenga, an Organic Farmer at MadeEasy Farms, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.
The farmer said that a major challenge facing the Nigerian agricultural sector in crop production was the delayed planting season and inconsistent rains which might likely have its toll on food production.
“A problem we currently face in organic farming is that the rains are really erratic; they are not as constant as we expect to aid the growth of crops we have started planting.
“Apart from the lockdown, most of the crops we planted have not started germinating like corn and yams and are drying up inside the ground because of insufficient rains.
“We have actually incorporated sack farming into our farms because of the inconsistent rainfall. We bag sand in sacks and plant crops, saving us land spaces and we can irrigate them as frequent as they require.
“Planting season this year is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; movement is not as free as it used to be. It is not easy to move agro-produce as before.
“In all honesty, the pandemic may affect the agricultural sector this year because people are not really as anxious as they were in previous years to commence planting,” the farmer said.
Speaking on the practice of organic farming, Mr Ikenga said local farmers were currently being faced with the challenge of accessing raw materials needed for farming.
He said that most local farmers had the impression that organic farming practice was more expensive than the conventional system of farming.
“In a way they may be right because of the few people practicing it. Those practicing it cannot satisfy the present demand for organic crops and vegetables.
“The raw materials used in organic farming are not easily accessible and are not in large supply as required by farmers.
“Organic farmers make use of cow faeces, chicken droppings, fruit peels, decomposed food, wilted beans and a variety of grasses as fertiliser for their crops.
“Most farmers find it difficult to scavenge for these raw materials in organic farming. It is difficult to get them unless you engage professional scavengers to get them for you,” Mr Ikenga said.