The Secretary, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Lagos State chapter, Mrs Abimbola Fagoyinbo-Francis, was on Friday called on the Federal and State Government to urgently intervene in supporting cassava farming in the country.
Fagoyinbo-Francis told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos that government intervention would help avert looming scarcity of the crop.
According to her, many farmers boycotted cassava cultivation in 2020, adding that this development could lead to scarcity of the produce.
She explained that the boycott was due to the huge losses recorded in 2019 by many farmers as a result of glut.
The AFAN scribe said:“Last year, I lost over N600,000 to cassava cultivation and I know many farmers that also lost their money to it”
“There were so much cassava production last year and buyers started buying them at a lower price and it resulted to shortage for many of our farmers”
“We sold a tonne of cassava for as low as N10,000, now it is being sold at N30,000 per tonne and it is not even available because farmers have boycotted it”
“Many farmers boycotted cassava cultivation this year due to fear of the unknown. They fear that what happened last year might happen again”
“Now, there is no cassava on the farms, it will take an average of nine months to harvest cassava,” she said. Fagoyinbo-Francis called for urgent government intervention to avert the looming scarcity of cassava in the country”
She said that with the present situation of things, there might be shortage of cassava production this season because farmers do not want to have the same experience this year.
“There may not be enough cassava for garri, cassava flour and other food items. Even if cassava is available, it will be very expensive”
“Already, garri is not affordable now. Go to the market and see for yourself. It is no longer a cheap food anymore,” she said.
She said: “I sold six tonnes for less than N100,000, it was a great loss to me”
“I know of a farmer that has spent over N370,000 for land preparation for cassava already this year, aside planting”
“How do you expect it not to be expensive, when you have spent so much on planting and it will take an average of nine months to harvest cassava”
“By end of 2020 and early next year, cassava will be very expensive and the only solution is government intervention,” Fagoyinbo-Francis”