Stakeholders Identify Challenges In Cowpea, Sorghum Cultivation In South West
Stakeholders in agricultural sector have identified some challenges facing farmers in the cultivation of cowpea and sorghum in the South-West zone of the country.
The stakeholders converged on Ibadan on Monday for a Technical Working Group meeting, under Germplasm Users’ Group for Seed for Resilience Project (SFR).
The project was undertaken by National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), in collaboration with Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust).
Speaking at the occasion, the acting Director, NACGRAB, Dr Anthony Okere, stressed the need to implement the objectives of the project and solve farmers’ challenges in the cultivation of cowpea and sorghum.
He commended the stakeholders for contributing toward addressing the fundamental problems affecting farmers in cultivating the crops.
“Often, people ask what the government is doing to improve the country, but we should also be asking what individuals are contributing to making our country better,” Okere said.
The Project Leader, SFR Nigeria, Dr Sunday Aladele, said that the project was scheduled to take off in 2019 but didn’t commence until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aladele expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far, adding that the project was on regeneration of crops for specific agro-ecological requirements.
He said that the technical working group was set up to mobilise farmers and guide them in the use of diversity to cultivate cowpea and sorghum to enhance food security.
In his presentation, the Activity Leader, User Engagement, NACGRAB, Dr Olabisi Alamu, said that the Farm Adoption Research Results revealed that there was the need to train and retrain farmers on the cultivation of the two crops.
Alamu said all the varieties cultivated by farmers, under Germplasm Users Group, recorded success in 2021 and 2022 at IAR&T and Kisi, adding that some performed better than others due to the rainfall patterns and ecological factors.
The Secretary of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, (AFAN), Mr Adewunmi Abass, called for knowledge sharing with farmers’ groups from the project to mitigate climate change effects and other challenges facing farmers in the cultivation of cowpea and sorghum.
He also called for provision of seed varieties that were diseases-tolerant and had high yield to farmers.
The stakeholders who attended the meeting included: agricultural experts, seed companies, farmers and media practitioners.
NAN/ Lateefah Ibrahim