• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Dizengoff Nigeria set to boost agric through technology

Agricultural transformation and youth employment

Dizengoff Nigeria is set to boost agricultural production in the country through the use of modern and affordable farming technologies to ease farmers challenge on the farm and make farming easier.

This was the explanation of Kunle Dabiri, national sales manager, Dizengoff Nigeria, during a field demonstration exercise conducted for corporate and individual farmers on the usage of tractors; drip irrigation systems and greenhouses for fruits and vegetable production in Ibadan, recently.

Greenhouse kits, he said, could be used to produce exotic tomatoes all-year round even in the bacteria wilt infested areas of the Southwest Nigeria.

The company also demonstrated to farmers groups how tractors are used for ploughing, harrowing and ridging; explaining that mechanisation of crop production was the only sustainable way of increasing production, productivity, profit and a means of reducing poverty among farmers. Demonstrating the use of mini drip irrigation kits to the participants, Friday Ali, supervisory agronomist, said the kits were in different capacities and sizes, ranging from half a plot to one hectare of land.

The drip irrigation system, he added, could be used to produce annual crops, vegetables, and short-cycled crops in the dry season, ensuring more profit. Tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, maize, potatoes, groundnuts, different vegetables and a host of other crops could be planted between November and May with the use of mini drip irrigation kits. He also emphasised the use of soluble fertiliser that could be used in boosting production.

The soluble fertiliser, he said, is applied through the drip irrigation system and it goes directly to the root of the plant in a method known as fertigation, thereby avoiding back-breaking application methods and high labour cost associated with granulated type of fertiliser. This type of fertiliser is used with knapsack-sprayers too, he said, adding that the cost of fertiliser is reduced by over 60 percent with the use of soluble type.

The source of water for the drip irrigation kits could be wells, boreholes or streams, Dizengoff said, and that the kits are easily assembled and dismantled even by laymen.

In the southern part of the country where bacterial wilt is rampant and responsible for poor performance of tomatoes, greenhouses and their accompanying improved seeds are ways of ensuring sustainable tomato production.

Dizengoff said sporadic scarcity of all types of tomatoes and pepper could be eradicated with the massive use of greenhouses, urging the corporate bodies, the government, farmers’ groups and individuals to explore opportunities in the application of modern kits for profitable business in vegetable production.

Damisa Enahoro, commercial manager, Tractor & Implements said that the demonstration was to tell Nigerians that farming is no longer as stressful as it was, saying youth unemployment could be drastically reduced in the country if simple and affordable technologies were deployed. Enahoro urged farmers to group and pool resources together, buy tractors, greenhouses, and other modern agricultural tools and experience a turnaround in their productivity and financial power.

On finding a market for exotic vegetables from greenhouses as a concern expressed by farmers, Dabiri said hotels; eateries, boarding schools and well-to-do Nigerians prefer exotic fruits and vegetables, hence, ensuring a sustainable market.

Josephine Okojie