By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, SWEER Global Farms, Dr Thaddaeus Thompson, Tuesday, counseled government to assist farmers mitigate risk factors affecting their productivity.
Thompson stated this while speaking on what could be done to boost farmers’ capacity and productivity amidst high food prices.
He said there is need now to educate farmers, especially, smallholder farmers who have been in the forefront of food production over many decades.
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He pointed that farmers can be extremely productive if risk management was applied to checkmate some of the factors they encounter.
He also noted that with the massive agricultural practice ongoing across the country, but the missing link is addressing the risk factors inherent in the practice of agriculture.
He said:”Risk factors is meeting the small farmers and understanding why they have not improved. Some of the things we have found out in research conducted is that we need to educate the local farmers and bring them out of fear. A friend of mine into agricultural insurance said government had released $2 billion for farmers loan, but they realized that most of the farmers did not show up for the loan and the reasons are so unclear to him.
“I let them know that there should be enterprise diversification which assumes the income from different crops and livestock activities we have to make sure that it moves up and down in perfect collation which means that low income from some activities can be offset by high incomes it is complimentary, these are some of the things farmers must be educated on this or the potentials of the Nigerian farmers is been impeded.”
He however, counselled government to reduce risk in loans given to farmers.
“The lenders must educate the borrowers on how and why they can pay back also encouraging the farmers to go for such loans.
“If they are better informed about the bottleneck or the process and are prepared for the loans properly they will have better perceptions. It is because they don’t have adequate information, do not know the process or have clear understanding that is why they back off.”
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