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7 Ways Nigerian Farmers Can Improve Productivity
- Use improved Tools and Implements: Farming is no longer practiced using simple but rather ineffective tools (such as hoes, cutlasses, axes, etc.) that made agriculture tedious and production low. Technology has ushered in tractors, hand-operated planters, wheel barrows, harrows, hand-operated fertilizer drills, combined harvesters which have increased agricultural productivity. Farmers need to be up-to-date on the latest implements and how they can help increase agricultural productivity.
- Soil Improvement: Different crops require different soil nutrients to yield productivity. For instance some soils that support the growth of groundnut may not be good for rice. Science and technology provides us with knowledge about soil requirements. Fertilisers also maintain soil fertility and boost yield. Knowledge of various ways of improving soil quality is important for farmers.
- Protect your crops: There are now herbicides and pesticides which protect crops from weeds and pests that reduce yield. Examples of pesticides are Simazine and Round-up (used in rice cultivation). Pesticides include Gamalin 20 (used to control some cocoa pests) and Aldrex-T (used for seed dressing cereals).
- Crop and Animal Improvement: There are improved varieties of plants and breeds of animals. For instance, modern technology of artificial insemination has brought about a new breed of cows by crossing the exotic Friesian breed (good for milk production) and the disease resistant White Fulani Cow. The offspring is a good milk producer that’s highly resistant to unfavorable weather conditions.
- Animal Health: Veterinary doctors specialize in the prevention and treatment of animal diseases. This is possible because of the knowledge of veterinary medicine.
- Irrigation: Modern irrigation technology has made the availability of water easier. Various irrigation equipments (like pumps, dams and sprinklers) have been designed. Nigeria has a River Basin and Rural Technology Development Authorities that uses irrigation as a means of boosting food production.
- Transportation, Processing and Storage: Modern Science has made it easy for farm products to be transported to different parts of the country. For instance, there are refrigerated trucks used to transport fish and meat. Famers also have means of preserving their harvests. There are also chemicals used to increase the shelf lives of produce. Today there are palm oil mills, rice mills and tomato processing plants unlike the olden days when most of produce processing was done manually. There are now improved bins, silos, rhombus for the efficient storage of farm produce.