Mr Raymos Guanah, Chairman, Raymos Guanah Farms Limited, Illah, near Asaba, has called on the Federal Government to align its agriculture programmes with the varying farming seasons in the country’s regions.
Guanah made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Sunday.
He said that the current practice by which the Federal Government maintained one calendar in its agricultural interventionist programmes for all the regions might not fully achieve the desired goals.
According to the former commissioner in Delta, planting seasons varied from region to region.
He said that unless such programmes were worked out to reflect the varying planting seasons and followed judiciously in terms of input distributions, they might not succeed in some states.
He commended the Federal Government’s agricultural programme being anchored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but expressed concern about the delay in release of inputs to farmers in the Niger Delta region.
The team from the CBN, Bank of Industry and the state Ministry of Agriculture, has visited my farm which is a beneficiary of the programme.
No input has been supplied and the planting season is almost over. There is no farmer in this state that has not completed planting now; by August we shall be harvesting.
So, there will be no need giving fertilisers or seedlings to farmers in the state now. The current system does not work; it has to be tinkered with.
Guanah said the country could achieve food sufficiency with the right agricultural policies being implemented as and when due.
The chairman said the country was blessed with arable land, rivers with various kinds of fishes, good vegetations and all kinds of domestic and wild animals.
“So, we must not have to look at the oil sector alone but explore the great potential in oil palm, cocoa, rubber, rice, beans, yam, wheat, sorghum and vegetables.
“My appeal to government is that it maintains its stand on the ban on rice importation into Nigeria.
“I am sure that with this, in the next two, three years, Nigeria will be self-sufficient in the production of rice, wheat and sorghum and other crops,’’ he said.