Mr Kabiru Mohammed, President of National Federation of Cowpea Farmers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, says Nigeria has capacity to produce four million tonnes of cowpea annually.
Mohammed made statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
“Nigeria has what it takes to produce up to four million tonnes annually, the only thing the farmers need is support and enabling environment,’’ he said.
He, however, said that poor storage facilities were among the challenges facing cowpea farming in Nigeria.
“The problem is just simple; the farmers have inadequate storage facilities.
“Cowpea requires a special storage facility that is unconventional with storage facilities for other crops.
“That is why enough of enlightenment is required for farmers to do well, especially when it comes to storage of the produce,’’ Mohammed said.
He said to make advocacy and farmers education programs more effective, the association, under his leadership, needed to go to rural areas where the crop was mainly produced.
Mohammed said the association would organise seminars to trained farmers on modern farming methods for better output.
“We need to educate them on the nature, type and the right proportion of pesticides they should use and then the appropriate local means of storage,’’ Mohammed said.
He called on the government at all levels to provide the right seedlings and give soft loans to farmers in order to enhance the production of cowpea.