Duration of Project: Continuing Project
Name of community: Aule community, Ondo state
Mr Sunday is a rice farmer at Aule; a community in Akure, Ondo state, Nigeria. He is passionate and energetic about the production of rice and has been cultivating this essential cereal for over two decades on a land mass of over 3 hectares, with his family of 8(himself, his wife and six children) with little support from the government and some well-intentioned white folks who came on a research and aided him and his group of rice farmers at Aule with technical knowhow as well as the provision of machineries.
After some years, the machines got damaged as a result of lack of maintenance and selfish interest among the group of farmers, some are salvageable while some are irrevocably damaged. Since this occurrence, production of rice has been less mechanized and more of manual labour by him and his family.
Mr. Sunday’s output has drastically reduced, due to shortage of manpower and his advanced years hence, he cannot provide 3-square meals for his family. His loving wife and young children no longer have a social life because they have to stay in the farm from 6a.m to 6:30pm to watch over the rice and war against birds that outnumber them. This has left his children that are still in school with no time to study, leaving them to resume to the farm immediately after school. To make matters worse, he can no longer afford farm inputs.
All these challenges have led him in to a scrappy deal with some rice milling company who provide him with rice seedlings and chemicals but buy back the rice at a lower price and delay the payment for unknown reasons.
The government wants to ban the importation of rice by 2015 so as to encourage local production, but who are going to be the beneficiaries? This story is typical of several other farmers in Aule in several other parts of Nigeria and It’s our duty to secure a brighter future for real farmers like Mr. Sunday; who has the passion for rice farming and not just a self-centered businessman. Helping this group of farmers will go a long way to create a better competitive market, discourage monopoly, price skimming, dumping` and also increase the production of rice from 58% of its consumption which are produced locally to a maximum level that will have a positive impact on the country‘s economy.
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