Produce traders urge South-west states to engage in farming

The Perishable Traders Association of Nigeria, Mile 12 Produce Market, Lagos, has appealed to state governments in the South-West Zone to engage in massive farming to boost food production.

The association’s spokesman, Mr Femi Odusanya, made the appeal in an interview in Lagos.

He said that increased investment and participation of South-West states in agriculture would reduce food prices and unemployment as well as fast-track food sufficiency agenda of the Federal Government.

He urged South-West states to support the cultivation of extensive arable land which were lying fallow to augment the shortfall of some food produce and increase government revenue.

“Tomato season is winding down in the north and for the next two months prices of tomatoes from the north will keep increasing till the South-West tomatoes are harvested.”

“The type of tomato seed grown in the north cannot withstand heavy rainfall while the tomato seed grown in South-West thrive under heavy rainfall.”

“The challenge is that South-West tomatoes are usually insufficient to fill the supply gap between May and October.”

“Because of this supply gap, traders resort to importing tomatoes from Benin and Niger Republic to augment the shortfall in the market during this period.”

“This is an economic waste, considering the abundant natural resources and large labour at our disposal in the country,” Odusanya said.

Adesanya urged other states to emulate the partnership between Lagos and Kebbi States in rice production.

Odusanya also urged government to take advantage of the farming seasons and large expanse of arable land in their domains to achieve all-year food production.

Ime N