The Southwest Development Authority (SOWEDA), September 23, 2015, donated 865 bags of fertilizers, 2,170 liters of herbicides, 530 liters of insecticides, and 600 kg of maize seeds worth 30 million francs CFA to 100 farming groups in the Southwest Region. This was part of SOWEDA’s periodic support to farmers at the start of every planting season.
By Che Azenyui Bruno
Handing over the inputs, the General Manager of SOWEDA, Eneme Andrew Ngome, reassured the farmers of government’s resolve through his institution to stand by them and ensure that they get increased yields and higher productivity.
He regretted the declining productivity of soils in the region which he said was as result of overexploitation by humans.
“The increasing demand for food has put increasing pressure on our land. Our soils are already getting old and poor, and thus the combination of improved planting materials with other farm inputs such as fertilizers will significantly increase soil fertility and consequently productivity,” said Eneme Ngome.
Representing the Governor, the Secretary General at the Southwest Governor’s office, Clement Fon Ndikum, lauded the efforts of SOWEDA in meeting the country’s agricultural needs especially as the country moves towards second generation agriculture.
He challenged youths still loitering around without jobs to try their hands at agriculture which he says remains the highest employer in the country.
On behalf of the beneficiary groups, Mbanda George, described the gesture as timely, coming just when most farmers are bracing up to begin the new farming season.
“Intensive cultivation of crops is putting pressure on our soils and making them poorer, our plants are being attacked by diseases and insects. This gesture will go a long way to improve our yields and fight these pests,” said Mbanda.
Meanwhile, Mbanda appealed for support to open farm-to-market roads, while citing some daunting challenges to include inadequate water supply, poor market structures and low prices of produce in the market.
“While appreciating your constant support to us in boosting our yields, we humbly appeal like Oliver Twist for your support in tackling these challenges,” Mbanda said.