From Juliana Agbo, Abuja
Smallholder rice farmers are going through challenges, a survey by the African Agricultural Know-how Basis (AATF) has stated.
These embody reliance on rain-fed farming, use of farmer-saved seeds for subsequent manufacturing, lack of equipment to assist commercialisation of rice manufacturing, and low use of fertiliser.
In line with the report, abiotic constraints related to soil nutrient depletion and imbalances (salinity, nutrient deficiencies and toxicities) and water availability (drought and extra water) contributes considerably to low rice productiveness in Nigeria and different African nations.
The examine additional reveals that with local weather change, there are numerous rice farms which can be being deserted as a result of excessive accumulation of salt resulting in salinity which ends up in environmental degradation.
It reveals that solely 9 per cent and 10 per cent of sampled rice producing communities in Nigeria practiced unique irrigated rice farming.
Rice Mission Supervisor at AATF, Dr Kayode Sanni, stated there may be have to put in place reforms essential to unlock agriculture’s potential for Africa to realize desired progress in its agriculture sector and to create jobs for the youth and obtain meals safety.
He highlighted the reforms to incorporate entry to land, enchancment of infrastructure, enhancement of extension companies and farmer schooling, entry to markets, finance and good high quality seeds and adoption of recent applied sciences.
In line with him, There’s potential for rising the yields of rice in SSA by way of the event of improved rice varieties with the power to do effectively and produce extra grains per hectare below the completely different hostile environmental and soil circumstances of Sub Saharan Africa.
“Greater than half of the sampled farmers in Nigeria used farmer-saved seeds for subsequent manufacturing. The excessive use of saved seeds has been linked to low yields in crops.
Different causes embody lack of cash to obtain different inputs (fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides) to ensure yields.
Nevertheless, there may be an rising development of youth more and more taking on roles in rice farming in Africa”, the survey said.
It additional advisable the necessity to spend money on new farming expertise for Africa from higher seeds to digital instruments to equipment as one of the best alternative for reworking African agriculture into an engine of financial progress that may have advantages far past the farm sector; and use of recent rice varieties and different improvements to make sure farmers can adapt to local weather change, tackle the challenges to assist them enhance productiveness.