Many dry-season farmers in Taraba State have embarked on wheat production trials.
Findings revealed that traditionally, Taraba farmers produced rice and maize during the dry season, but that from last year, some of them have started wheat farming on trial in some of the local government areas.
Those interviewed said they started wheat farming on trial last year, but many of them did not witness a good yield due to late planting and a lack of proper knowledge.
A farmer in the Karim-Lamido area, Musa Saidu, told this reporter that many farmers who planted wheat last year witnessed a poor harvest as the crop dried up when the heat started.
He said many farmers were interested in farming wheat, but because of lack of knowledge, they were discouraged.
According to him, other farmers ventured into growing wheat this dry season but not on a large scale, adding that gradually more farmers will go into farming the grain because of its high demand in the market.
Another farmer, Adamu Sani, said last year, the federal government provided wheat seed to farmers as part of its effort to encourage wheat farming in the state.
He noted, however, that dry season farmers in the state will grow wheat in commercial quantities like their counterparts in Kano State without good knowledge of wheat production.
Adamu added that wheat production is not like rice and maize, as its requires techniques and an understanding of weather patterns.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Taraba State Ministry of Agriculture to deploy extension service staff to educate dry-season farmers on how to grow wheat in farming communities in the state.
He said the state has vast fertile land and rivers that sustain water all year round, which is suitable for irrigation farming.
Meanwhile, the chief of Mutumbiyu, retired Justice Sani Muhammed, told our reporter that he will plant one bag of wheat seed this year on trial.
He said wheat is one of the produce with both local and international value which will help the country earn foreign exchange.