Rice Farmers in Taraba State Diversify into Vegetable Cultivation for Increased Profits

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Irrigation farmers in Taraba State have said they grow vegetables along their rice farms to enable them to get quick money to buy fuel and pay for labour and other inputs for their farms.

The farmers told Daily Trust that they grow vegetables apart from rice because vegetables mature in less than one and a half months and there is high demand for them in the state.

They also said they use the proceeds from their vegetable farming to buy fertilizer and pay for labour for their rice farms.

According to them, the new approach has reduced the level of borrowing by farmers to carry out their irrigation farming, adding that vegetable farming requires less capital compared to rice and wheat farming.

Tanko Bobbo Andami, a large-scale farmer, told Daily Trust that farming vegetables is profitable and that is why many irrigation farmers are engaged in it.

He said he used the proceeds from his vegetable farming to pay for labour and also buy fertilizer for his rice farms.

Another farmer, Nuhu Tau, said irrigation farmers in the state were not producing vegetables in their irrigation farms in the past even though the land was suitable for vegetable farming, adding that the farmers did not realize its value until recently.

He said 95 per cent of vegetables consumed in the state were brought from Gombe, Yobe, Bauchi, Kano, Zaria and Katsina, adding that there is a high demand for vegetables in the Taraba State.

Nuhu said some irrigation farmers have started producing vegetables in commercial quantities but that, many others were not engaging in such farming ventures because of a lack of awareness of the profit that is readily reaped from it.

“All the local government areas in Taraba State rely on the Jalingo vegetable market which gets its supplies from outside the state for tomatoes, onion peppers, carrots, okra and other vegetables. But it is important to note that there was a tomato factory in Lau town and there was massive production of tomatoes in the area but now that is history,” he said.

Nuhu stated further that with mass fertile land and water for irrigation farming, if farmers embarked on massive vegetable farming, Taraba would take centre stage in vegetable production and farmers would make more money than what they are making from rice production now.

Daily Trust

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