FADAMA programme coordinator, Mrs Ezinne Otuka, has warned that the era of portfolio farmers in Abia State is over, stating that those who are non-practical farmers, making proposals on participating in the FADAMA III programme should have a rethink.
The State Coordinator made the disclosure while speaking to journalists in her office at Umuahia, over the weekend, maintained that the existence of such farmers has remained a hindrance towards the actualisation of food production and sufficiency.
Mrs Otuka said that to ensure portfolio bag caring farmers were not given the opportunity to participate in the programme, saying that already, facilitators from the office have gone into various
communities to identify the real farmer and what they cultivate.
She maintained that one of the challenges farmers are facing in the state and failure of some farmers not paying back the loan facilities under guarantee of the state government.
We are looking for market where farmers have bargaining powers, sometimes, these buyers go to the farm gate of the farmer and buy at a low rate, which continues to reduce the farmers’ interest.
“We have built up their capacity that through and provided advisory services so that they can put it into use that is why we say that we are doing a project of sustainability, those things that we can grow. We have trained them especially on crop and vegetable; something that we will not lack in our homes.”
Mrs Otuka further disclosed that she is optimistic there will be sustainability of food crops from the farmers after undergoing capacity training programme organised by the state FADAMA programme office.
According her, FADAMA 111 has documented 2,804 registered cooperative societies groups across the state set for the dry season farming.