Many Nigerian farmers are not happy with the way government allows agricultural products to waste away.
In an opinion poll conducted by The Republic in Lagos, many of the farmers complained resources with which the country is endowed are being wasted on the pretext that there is no technology for their proper utilisation.
At the United States grain council office, two of the farmers who went there for consultation with the American Grain Council said that cassava can be used for feed mills. It is a very good materials for poultry feeds. One of them said that feed millers will not want to use it for what they call lack of formula for transforming it.
He lamented that cassava grown in abundance in Nigeria has many uses but it is only use for garri in commercial quantity. Industries starch, he said can be got from cassava and it can also be used for feed mills. These are not produced in commercial quantity as of today.
Another farmer said hat Sunflower which thrive well in the Southern part of the country is good source of oil. Oil from sunflower he said it natural, pure and nutritive but its potential is not being explored.
Another farmer interviewed said that pineapple is a good material for soft drinks and wine. Pineapple, he added can be grown in commercial quantity in Nigeria. He lamented that instead of tapping these resources when the going was good by setting up cottage industries to make use of the available raw materials, the country went on massive importation of wine.
Even as at today, wine is still being imported. The farmer continued by citing the example of France that uses potatoes to make wine. He humourously asked, ‚Äòhaven‚Äôt you tasted potato wine before?‚Äô
All the farmers interviewed were those who retired into farming after some years of service either in the public or private sector.
All respondents to the interview disclosed that their greatest headache is finance. When reminded of the existence of the small scale industrial loan scheme, one of the farmers said that he has been trying to ger the loan for 5 years running but to no avail.
Some industrials who spoke on the issue said that there are no machine to make use of the raw materials in question. The technology to apply is not yet developed so we cannot go into such ventures.
One farmer however said that the excuse of lack of technology is ploy to make Nigeria a producer of primary products and a market for finished goods from Europe and America.