The Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (ALFAN) in Rivers, Mr Roland Brown, has advised farmers in the state not to abandon cultivation of cassava due to the current low price.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Monday, Brown said that the current price of garri in the market did not encourage farmers in the country to plant cassava.
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Garri which sold for between N30,000 and N35,000 per 50 kilogramme bag in 2017 now sells for between N10,000 and N14,000 in the state.
The custard container measure that was sold for N1,200 in 2017 now sells for between N300 and N350.
The chairman advised farmers to cultivate cassava in 2019 farming season and expressed optimism that the price would go up in 2020.
He added that the fall in price was only a temporary setback, and advised them to cultivate hybrid species of cassava that could mature in eight months.
According to him, the low price of garri had contributed to food security in the country, but at the expense of the farmers.
“Cheap garri has contributed to food security, but it has discouraged cassava farmers in the country,” he said
The chairman said that land clearing remained one of the challenges of farmers in the southern part of the country.
Brown said said that farmers in the country also did not have easy access to agricultural loans, inputs and fertilisers at the appropriate time, among other challenges (NAN)