United Nations consultant Patrick Tolani has advised farmers in the Southwest to embark on cluster farming and hire security guards in order to protect their farmlands and prevent herders from grazing on their farms.
Tolani made the recommendation during the inauguration of the new executive of the Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association (OSACA) in the state capital of Akure.
The consultant called on the Southwest state governments to formulate common agricultural policies to guide farming in the region, further explaining that it would be economical for farmers to hire and pay security guards if they have a cluster farm covering about 300 hectares.
“Change your way of doing business, see farming as a business. Look at how to invest more in farming. Look at it from the perspective of a value chain. Project the marketing and sales,” he suggested.
“Work in clusters so that whoever wants to provide irrigation facility can do it for all of you at the cluster, do farming like 300 hectares so that you can deploy security forces to protect the farm at least for the next one year.”
In his acceptance letter, Gbenga Obaweya, the newly sworn-in chairman of the OSACA, solicited the support of all its members in achieving the common goal of making the association better.
Obaweya disclosed that among his goals is to provide a database with which the state government can project its agricultural programs.
Akin Olotu, senior special assistant to the governor, admonished farmers not to allow any cabal to hijack the association, but to focus on midwifing commodity exchange without the government’s assistance.