The Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN) says the federal government has agreed to support Irish potato growers with farm mechanisation, capitalisation loans and inputs to boost productivity.
POFAN President Chief Daniel Okafor told local media that the government has included the association in programmes involving the distribution of disease resistant seed varieties to Irish potato farmers throughout the Nigerian federation.
“It is no longer going to be business as usual, because Irish potato farmers will work with, and access loans from, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Bank of Agriculture. The government will allocate money to grow the Irish potato value chain, acquire farm inputs and tractors.
“The government will also create a tractor-hiring centre in each state. It will not manage the centre, but will encourage the farmer cooperatives to do so. The farmers should also form cooperatives for easy access to loans and farm inputs,” Okafor said.
The association urged potato farmers to capture and maintain updated records including farm size, physical location and the number of members in each cooperative. The equipment and input management centre will also act as a link-up point for farmers and produce merchants.
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