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Despite insecurity, cost of inputs, irrigation farming thrives Taraba

Despite insecurity and cost of inputs, thousands of people in Taraba State have embarked on irrigation farming.  Findings revealed that thousands of people within and…

Despite insecurity and cost of inputs, thousands of people in Taraba State have embarked on irrigation farming. 

Findings revealed that thousands of people within and outside the state have embarked on irrigation farming in fields located at Sheka,Nahuta, Binnari, Belingo, Donada Madakan Kifi and Karim-Lamido.  

Daily Trust on Sunday’s visit to Nahuta and Binnari irrigation fields in Karim-Lamido Local Government showed that the number of people farming in the field tripled that of previous years.

Similarly, more fields are being cleared for farming while there is also an influx of labourers, including women and children from within and outside the state.

Rice is the main crop while few vegetable farms and maize are being cultivated.

Farmers interviewed said farming was the only option for them to survive the hard time, and they did not care about insecurity and cost of inputs.

Adamu Binnari, a rice farmer at Nahuta, told Daily Trust on Sunday that in the face of hard times, he and other residents had no option than to embark on irrigation farming.

He said many of them that did not have capital usually borrowed from middlemen and businessmen and paid back with paddy rice  after the harvest.

He said a farmer stood to make profit despite the cost of inputs, including fuel, adding that the venture is profitable instead of sitting idle.

“This year, there are more people within and outside the state engaging in irrigation farming. Also, there are  more labourers, including women, coming to work in the farm, while more rich people, including politicians, are taking part in irrigation farming this year,” he said.

Tanko Bobbo Andami, one of the large scale farmers who engage in irrigation farming in the area, told Daily Trust on Sunday that if people continued to be afraid of kidnappers and refused to go to farm, they would die of hunger. 

“That was why we damned the consequences and engaged in irrigation farming this dry season.

“We sleep here in the farm with labourers. We have food vendors that cook and sell to labourers. You can see that activities here are 24 hours; and it is from now to harvest time, which is within the next two months.

“We thank local hunters who patrol the fields that cover more than 40 kilometres from each direction. There is peace. We have not recorded any case of kidnapping in this field,” he said.

On how the farmers make gain, he said consumers usually paid for the cost of inputs, including fuel, adding that there is no way a bag of paddy rice would be sold less than N40,000 after harvest because of the cost inputs and labour.

“We are not getting any support from the government; what we are doing is purely our investment without loans or support from either the federal government or the Taraba State Government,” he said.

He said that despite insecurity and cost of inputs, thousands of people within and outside the state were taking part in irrigation farming more than before.

He said land and water were also available for farming, adding that most farmers harvest their rice twice before rainfall.

Further findings revealed that there are farmers from Bauchi,Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Edo Rivers and many other states engaging in irrigation farming at different parts of the state.

 

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