Patrick Tolani, chief executive officer, Charity Aid and Development Foundation for Africa (CADFA), has called on farmers in the Southwest region of Nigeria to embark on cluster farming as an effective measure attacks from herders grazing on their farms.
Tolani explained that if the farmers organise a cluster farm covering about 300 hectares, it would be economical for them to hire security guards to protect the farm and prevent activities of herders who are fond of grazing on crops.
The United Nations consultant made the suggestion during the inauguration of a new executive of Ondo State Agricultural Commodities’ Association (OSACA) held recently at the Trade Fair complex, Alagba, Akure.
During his address, Tolani urged the farmers to see farming not just as an occupation but a business whose value chain needs more investments and create partnerships with external parties and the government to enlarge its value chains.He added that governments in Southwest states should formulate common agricultural policies to improve farming in the region.
On his part, Gbenga Obaweya, the newly appointed OSACA chairman, said one of the goals of the executive is to provide a database with which the state government can project its agricultural programmes. He also sought the support of all members of the association towards improving the agriculture sector.
In his address, Akin Olotu, senior special assistant to the governor on Agriculture and Agribusiness and pioneer chairman of the association, advised members to focus on transforming the commodity exchange sector and work earnestly towards saving the state from the present food scarcity.
He bemoaned the fact that many farmers have abandoned their farms due to activities of killer herdsmen who grazed on their crops, but called for support from security agencies to enable farmers cultivate crops without security hindrances and threats to their lives and crops.