Wheat farmers in Katsina State have explained that poor harvests often recorded in the cultivation of the crop are caused by late planting and lack of improved seeds.
Ward head of Barebari community in Katsina, Safiyanu Rabiu, a popular wheat farmer disclosed this while alleging that many wheat farmers in the state are accustomed to planting late.
He explained that majority of wheat farmers depend on the state government for seeds, which are often made available to them late. He added that they do not procure seeds from the open market due to trust issues regarding their quality.
“There is always time for everything, and wheat farming also requires a stipulated time of planting but when farmers keep waiting for inputs for a long time, it adversely affects their harvests at the end,” he stated.
Rabiu called on Katsina State government to provide irrigation dams, particularly in the southern part of the state to boost the cultivation of not just wheat, but other crops.
Another wheat farmer, Saminu Sabon-gida explained that many farmers relied on the state government’s intervention in wheat production to engage in its cultivation because they found the exercise too expensive to start. He described the long wait period as another reason for the late planting of the crop.
“Many of us here are subsistence farmers and we cannot risk our little capital to invest in wheat production. We are yet to access the intervention which government pledged and that is why we resorted to the production of vegetables before it is too late,” he explained.
Other wheat farmers suggested that the timely distribution of inputs to farmers and at subsidised rates would boost wheat production in the state. They added that with government’s assistance, wheat production will go beyond the subsistence level in the state.
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