FG, Gombe trains 50 beans farmers for bumper harvest

A cross section of the farmers during the Gombe training.

By Williams Ago, Gombe

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with the Gombe State Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry has commenced the training of 50 cowpeas (beans) farmers aimed at improving their yields during harvest.

Tagged, 'Emergency training on climate resilient practices in cowpeas production in the Northeast, Northwest and North Central regions' held at the conference hall of Fadama Office, Gombe, the training was targeted at equipping the farmers with modern technics and knowledge amidst the obvious global climate change.

According to Baba Gabriel Lila, the acting coordinator of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Office in Gombe State, the training is expected to trickle down to hundreds of beans farmers all over the state.

It is also intended to mobilize and support the beans farmers so as to avoid low yields during harvest since a lot of the farmers are ignorant about climatic conditions that negatively affects their high yields, he added.

Resource person for the training, Dr. Joseph Hussaini Kaltungo, Acting Programme Manager of the Gombe State Agricultural Development Programme, said the training was timely because the farmers will be equipped with adequate knowledge about what to plant, when to plant and the agronomically accepted practices they need to follow for a successful enterprise.

Dr. Joseph said there is a great need to take advantage of the favourable climatic conditions for cowpeas farming in the draught tolerant Sudan Sahelian subregion of the Northeast.

He said: “The training is coming at a good time when we're experiencing climate change. Cowpeas are naturally bred for draught tolerant Sudan and Sahelian region of the north. Those who plant earlier than now may end up having too much foilage and little cowpeas’ yields. 

"It requires few amount of rainfall and brilliant sunshine. That's why it matures around October or thereabouts. The recommended time to plant it is mid July to mid August, more so that it doesn't require fertilizer application, which is quite expensive in the open market now", he told newsmen during an interview.

He also said, "apart from being a source of plant protein, since beef is becoming out of reach for the poor, cowpeas farming is a cash crop enterprise, a source of money for farmers, especially here in the North.

"It may be close to N50,000 per bag here in the North but when a farmer takes it to the South or Lagos, he could sell it at the cost of N80,000 to N90,000. So there is great need to take advantage of this window,” he emphasized.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Gombe State Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Usman, was delighted with the collaboration between the State and Federal Government, saying the State government has always taken agriculture with all seriousness, which is evident in the support it recently rendered by procuring 166,000 trucks of NPK fertilizer at the cost of N2.8b for sale to farmers at a subsidized rate of N19,000 per bag.
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