Some tomatoes farmers in Badagry have urged the Lagos State Government to consider investing more on local production of tomatoes to make the state self-sufficient.
They also said that lack of fund and storage facilities had prevented them from producing enough tomatoes for local consumption in the state
According to Mr Alfred Folorunsho, a tomatoes farmers in Erekiti area of Badagry, increase in prices of fertilizer and other farm input had affected farmers production capacity in the area
“Farmers spend close to N500,000 to plant tomatoes in an acre of land and it is not easy to look for money.This is where the government can come in to assist farmers by borrowing them money.
“Even if the government cannot provide all the fund, they can give farmers fertilizer, manure and other farm input to make them grow more tomatoes.We can plant tomatoes for Lagos State and more states, if the government can give us more support,” he said.
According to Folorunsho, political farmers are the one benefiting from the support the government should be given to the real farmers.
“If the government wants to help farmers, they should first go and identify such farmers and their farms in each community and the type of product he is producing.
“Asking farmers to assemble in town hall for seminar without identify will make other people to join them.The government will just make announcement on radio that farmers should assemble for agriculture seminar.
“So, majority that will gather at the hall for the seminar would be politicians and not farmers, consequently, all provisions for the farmers will be given to them.
“Then, original farmers will now be buying the farm input from them; this is not good.Even most of the N150,000 agriculture loan are being given to wrong people, who will use it for another thing,” he said.
Alhaji Salami Sulaiman, a tomato farmer in Iragbo community, Badagry, urged the government to assist farmers on storage facilities in order to preserve their products.
“Tomato is a fruit, after going through a lot to produce tomatoes, if there is no immediate market for it, the fruit will spoil after some days. But if government can provide storage facilities or can be buying from farmers, it will encourage us to grow more because we know the government will help.
“The pepper sellers that come to buy from our farm are not helping the matter, they form group to beat down the price of tomatoes and if you don’t sell it will spoil,” he said.
Mr Aziz Tiamiyu, a farmer at Dadi Louis community, an Island in Iworo, Badagry, said the Island was a fertile land for tomatoes planting.
He also alleged that the local and state government had not assisted them to boost planting of tomatoes.
“If the government can provide the farmers in the island with fertilizer, manure and irrigation system, we will grow more tomatoes here in Badagry,” he said.
Another farmer in Dadi Louis Community, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Tijani, urged the LASG to increase the yearly Agric loan from N150,000 to N1million per farner.
According to him, since the loan is no longer enough for planting, the affected farmers are only using the loan to buy foodstuffs at home.