Benue farmers seek return of produce marketing boards
Ortom urges board to boost internal revenue
FARMERS in Benue State have advocated for the return of the produce marketing boards, to assist them to have value for their products.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi that the boards assisted in the proper evaluation of the prices of their crops.
Mr. Tyoishi Anger and Iorlumun Asue, both rice farmers, lamented the absence of the produce marketing boards in the state, saying that the situation had left them at the mercy of the middlemen.
The farmers said middlemen now decide the prices of their produce. They stressed the need for the return of the boards, to enable the farmers to be able to make some profit from their farming activities.
The farmers lamented the nefarious activities of the middlemen, who they said had discouraged a lot of people from venturing into commercial farming but to rather farm only for their subsistence.
“This is not good for the development of the nation’s agricultural sector,” they said.
A groundnut farmer, Mrs. Veronica Vingiryo said that the boards were of tremendous assistance to farmers when they functioned as they helped in stabilising the prices of farm produce by correctly determining their monetary values.
A soya-beans farmer, Mr. Samuel Yongongi, appealed to the state government to provide loans to farmers, to enable them to be able to step up their farming activities.
“If loans are made available to farmers, they will put them to good use by farming on large scale and by so doing, the agricultural sector will experience a wonderful transformation,” he said.
Mrs. Mbailuve Atim, a yam farmer, appealed to the government to commence the process of fertilizer distribution early enough, to enable farmers in the state access it on time.