Farmers in Makurdi, Benue State capital, have called on government at all levels to provide them with pumping machines to enhance irrigation farming.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi, the farmers said they lacked pumping machines to water their crops, making them incapable of practicing irrigation farming.
A maize farmer, Mr Matthew Adasho, stated that they were unable to cultivate their farms on a large scale during the dry season because of lack of pumping machines to irrigate their crops.
Adasho said irrigating farms manually was difficult, adding that not all farmers could cope with this.
“This challenge accounts for why many farmers in the state are reluctant to venture into dry season farming irrespective of its gains,” he said.
Also speaking, a vegetable farmer, Torkwase Agbende, appealed to government to provide farmers in the state with essential inputs to enable them venture into dry season farming.
Agbende said if farmers were supported to engage in dry season farming, it would go a long way in ensuring food security in the country.
“There will be adequate food for consumption and it will also help farmers to increase their income.
“The farmers’ revenue profile will increase greatly because they will be farming all year round as against farming only during the rainy season,” she said.
Corroborating Agbende, a rice farmer, Mr Tyowase Ashwe, lamented that farmers in the state lacked the facilities to adequately venture into dry season farming.
He said while the Federal Government had selected Benue State as one of the pilot states for dry season farming, adequate arrangements had yet to be made to actualise this.
The farmers, however, commended the Federal Government for its policies and programmes aimed at transforming the agricultural sector and urged it to sustain the tempo.
They also urged the state government to take a cue from the Federal Government by providing farm inputs for farmers regularly.