Bridging Nigeria’s farm yields gap to tackle rural poverty

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At the outskirts of Ajokete village in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State is four hectares of land belonging to Temidayo Adegoke, a 62 years old farmer who farms maize, vegetables and cassava.

Despite being a farmer for over 10years, Adegoke is still unable to improve his livelihood and does not want any of his seven children to be a farmer.

“For many years I have worked so hard on my farm and yet I have very little to show for the hard work,” he told BusinessDay.

This is because he has recorded a particular yield per hectare over these periods, as he is unable to find the right hybrid seeds and seedlings for cultivation.

In the past, he has purchased several seeds labelled as hybrid from the market only to later discover that they are adulterated or fake.

This forced Adegoke to result to replanting the grains harvested from his farm for maize and vegetable production as well as stems for cassava.

As a result, he has maintained 1.2MT tons per hectare for maize and 2MTtons per hectare for cassava, when his peers in other African countries are growing between 3MT and 6MT per hectare.

The situation has made Adegoke income remains’ perpetually low with it having a negative impact on his livelihood.

Data from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) shows that Nigeria records the least yield per hectare among its peers.  For tomatoes, the average yield per hectare in Nigeria is 7 metric tons (MT), Kenya’s average yield for the crop is 20MT, Ghana tomato yield is 8MT and South Africa’s average yield for the crop is 76MT.

Similarly, for maize – which is the most consumed grain on the continent, Nigeria’s yield per hectare is 1.6 on the average despite … Read More...