Rice and maize have, in this farming season, dominated Katsina farms unlike last year when farmers concentrated on soya beans and sesame as their main cash crops, Daily Trust gathered.
Ever since the decline in cotton production in the state and the country in general, farmers have adopted soya beans and in recent years, sesame as their main cash crops because of their industrial demands.
However, with the skyrocketing market price of maize and the federal government’s self-sufficiency policy on rice production, Katsina farmers this year, switched to the two crops.
A farmer in Damari, Sabuwa LGA, Malam Umaru Sada, said last year, he produced 70 bags of soya beans and 26 bags of sorghum but this year, he completely shifted to rice and maize in his farms.
“The hike in the price of maize and rice has this year encouraged us to change our crops so that we would not be left behind. Last year, I sold maize at N3,500, now it is more than N10,000 and it has more yield than soya beans.So if a bag of soya beans is now sold at N10,200 it would be more profitable to farm maize which can give you more bags,’’ said Umaru Sada.
He added that farmers now have no alternative to rice cultivation going by the government policy on self-sufficiency in rice production.
Another farmer in Musawa LGA, Malam Iliyasu Musawa, said he had since expanded his farmland to cultivate rice, maize, sorghum and soya beans.
“I now hire about two hectares of farmland in addition to the two I was farming yearly; and this year, I planted rice, maize, sorghum and soya beans. We cannot afford to be left out this year as both state and federal governments are doing their best to make agriculture a lucrative venture,” he said.
He further said with the current dwindling oil revenue and other economic problem, farmers across the state have no option other than to embrace their trade and improve upon it for self-sustainability and provision of revenue alternative to the nation.
This reporter observed that the renewed farmers’ interest in rice and maize cultivation has made them to purchase more fertiliser at the rate of N6,000 per bag.
Similarly, farmers are now battling to access farmlands as the ones they used to acquire on lease years back are no longer available because their owners now have interest in farming and many of them are coming back from their places of work to utilise their farms.
This, according to the farmers prediction, will in near future affects the price of farmlands in the state.
(Culled from Dailytrust)