Mr Raymos Guanah, Chairman, Delta Floodplains Irrigation Farmers Association, has called on the Federal and State Governments to seek ways to prevent herdsmen invasion of their farmlands.
Guanah made this call on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Graduate and Youth Irrigation Scheme in Illah, Delta on Thursday.
According to him, the haphazard nature of herdsmen invasion of their farmlands and kidnappers are alarming and can cause low agricultural production and dampen the morale of investors in agriculture.
‘‘We want the Federal Government and the Delta State Government to come to our aid, as we are experiencing a lot of losses on our farmlands.
‘‘Most of the farmers have experienced losses as a result of cattle coming in to eat our crops.
‘‘We need security and other options to make our farmlands safe, so as to encourage us to do more in agricultural production.’’ he said.
Guanah also raised the alarm over the spate of kidnappings in the localities.
He suggested the construction of a security post toward protecting farmers as they carry out their activities.
He also called for the repair of the road networks in the communities.
The chairman expressed regret that some farmers have had their produce getting spoilt before reaching the buyers at the market.
In a separate interview, Mr Julius Okokwu, speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers in Illah, commended the Federal Government on its inauguration of the Graduate and Youth Irrigation Scheme.
Okokwu expressed optimism that the project would go a long way to boost food production and also reduce youth restiveness in the area.
He gave assurance that the benefiting communities would take ownership of the scheme to ensure that it meets its objectives of food sufficiency.
Some of the beneficiaries told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they were optimistic that their lives would be better, pledging to put in their best.
Ms. Isioma Akakwu, a Linguistic Graduate from Delta State University, who said she has been unemployed for seven years, expressed joy that with commitment, she would soon be an employer of labour.
‘‘I graduated since 2010, I have searched for white-collar jobs, no one has called me, so I decided to apply for this scheme, and I was called.
‘‘I am happy, I will put my best into it to make sure the seedlings we have been given yield much, and I will be able to make profit.’’
Another beneficiary, Mr Adim Ilechie, pledges to put in his best toward making his hectare yield more than other farmers.
Newsmen report that similar projects have been inaugurated in Kogi, Ogun, Zamfara, Kano, Cross River, Imo and Nasarawa States.