A commercial agricultural firm, Savannah Integrated Export Processing Farm, has provided 1,504 acres of subsidised land to 1,000 farmers at Dadin-Kowa irrigation site to boost irrigation farming in Gombe State.
The farm manager of the firm, Malam Nasiru Umar, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Dadin-Kowa town on Tuesday.
Umar said the firm provided land to the farmers at subsidised rate, cultivated the land and gave to farmers of different crops at the site.
The farm manager said the company had wanted to give them water for irrigation, but could not do that and advised them to dig shallow wells.
According to him, 782 acres of land are given to maize farmers, 382 acres to tomato farmers, while 340 acres are given to okro farmers.
Umar further said that 52 farmers were also provided with early maturing variety of seeds, land, and other incentives for the production of wheat at the site.
He expressed satisfaction that the wheat farms were doing well, saying good yields were expected from the farms.
On the challenges faced by the wheat farmers, Umar said most of them were not wealthy enough to dig the wells.
“We assisted some of the farmers to dig wells; we dug wells for some on credit, while the government helped by giving some irrigation pumps.
“There is also the problem of late arrival of seeds and fertiliser; wheat needs early planning and planting,” he said.
The manager said if the company completed installing its machines for processing tomato paste, its land would be given to only tomato farmers.
He said the irrigation activities at the site had helped a lot in reducing hunger and poverty as many farmers were now harvesting their crops and benefitting greatly.
Umar said that the target of the firm was to cultivate 3,500 acres during both rainy and dry seasons, and called on the youth to engage themselves in farming.
He urged them not wait for government to provide them with everything.
A wheat farmer, Malam Usman Ibrahim, thanked the firm for the incentives and motivations to enable them grow wheat.
Ibrahim said though it was the first time he was planting wheat, he was impressed with the way the crop was blossoming.
He appealed to the government to ensure good pricing of the crop so as to encourage them.
The farmer also appealed to government to assist them with milling machines and fertiliser.