As prices of foodstuff and other means of livelihood continued to soar high in the country, an agriculturist in Ughelli, the headquarters of Ughelli North local government area, Mr. Johnbull Edesiri has appealed to the South-South governors to support agriculture in the region for food sufficiency.
Mr. Edesiri who is into onions and carrot faming made the appeal recently while conducting newsmen round his farm in Ughelli.
He spoke on the possibility of planting onions and carrot in the region instead of depending on the North for these products, adding that, the major challenge of farmers in the region is lack of financial support from government unlike the North where government render financial support to farmers.
Mr. Edesiri recounted the effort he made to get financial support from the Delta State government through the Ministry of Agriculture which could not yield anything meaningful.
Speaking on the economic viability of onions compared to cassava, which is the major farm produce in the region, Edesiri likened it to comparing silver to gold.
“it is like comparing silver to gold. Because, if you cultivate, let’s say the size of 50 by 100 feet of land with cassava and another with onions. The onions will yield 10 times above the cassava.
Also, it takes only four months for onions to get to maturity while cassava takes between 8-12 months before it gets to maturity,” Edesiri stressed.
He said the reason why most farmer in S-South region were poor was the dependency on cassava which does not require much attention but takes up a year before harvest.
He condemned the over dependency of the southern region on the north for food supply and charged our youths to go into farming by using their God given energy to provide food for the region.
He however, noted that planting onions and carrot which he grouped together as cultivation required come technical knowledge but added that with little training one could make fortune out of it.
He disclosed that it was out of ignorance that makes people think that our weather would not allow us to plant onions and carrot in our region, saying that most parts of the country have the same weather that permits the planting of any crops.
Edesiri said one of the reasons he encouraged people in the south-south region to go into cultivation was the ready market and the harvesting period, saying that they are daily consumables, saying the north has made fortune from cultivation and appealed to the S-South governors to encourage farming in that direction.