Enugu Farmers Fear You May Lack Food
Food insecurity is not something one will wish for in this time of recession, but it seems to be around the corner for some states.
Nigerian farmers are trying to boost output of some staple foods to ensure enough supply to feed millions of people, but that effort is being hampered in Enugu State.
While some persons may be rejoicing over the rainfall, the farmers are not happy.
Farmers in Nsukka, Enugu State, on Friday said the continued downpour in the area would adversely affect yield of crops.
Some of the farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria in Nsukka that they were worried because some of their farms were already flooded.
Timothy Onah is a yam and cassava farmer. He says his farms are being flooded anytime there is downpour.
“I am disturbed because this rain may cause cassava and yam tubers to rot if not harvested in time.
“I witnessed same problem last 3 years. Last week, I hired labourers to help me build sand hedges around my farm to save it from flood.”
Mrs Jane Omeje, a vegetable farmer, said the continued downpour spoilt tomatoes.
According to her, the downpour slowed ripening of tomatoes as well darkening the crop; but my vegetables are doing fine,” she said.
Another farmer, Mr Vincent Onu, said he had started putting measures in place to harvest his cassava and yam in time to avoid the decay of the tubers.
“My happiness is that rain does not prevent the growth of the tubers but spoil it if not harvested in time.
“My experience as a farmer is that rain is good for crops but too much of it affect tubers adversely,” he said.
A lecturer, Professor Micheal Uguru, with the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said heavy rain could only cause rot of tuber crops when farms were flooded and if not harvested in time.
Uguru, who is also the National President, Crop Science Society of Nigeria, said downpour slowed down ripening of tomatoes since it needed some amount of sunshine.
“Farmers should seek advice to know the best time of the year to plant certain crops.
“Farmers should avoid planting crops such as cassava and yam in areas prone to flood,” he said.
Nsukka town and its environs have been witnessing downpour this year.
Flood is not the only thing that threatens food security, kidnapping of persons in their farms is also being reported.