Why local farmers are embracing sesame cultivation in Gombe
Farming, which has been a source of income for Dukku community in Gombe State, has received a boost as local farmers in the area now engage in mass cultivation of sesame.
In recent years, farmers in Dukku had started migration to the cultivation of sesame, which to them makes good sale.
Reacting to the development, many farmers have expressed various views.
For Alhaji Umaru Wakili, who has been into farming for quite a number of years, sheds light on the possible reasons why he thinks farmers engage in mass cultivation of sesame. He attributed it to more financial gains recorded in sesame than in other cereals.
“When you see a farmer who has been cultivating millet or beans for the past years now switching to another crop, it can’t be for no reason. I have been cultivating millet and beans for a number of years but how much is one bag of millet sold? Though the price varies with the size of bags, but you can get a bag at N3, 500.
Now that I am into this sesame farming, I’m recording huge sales from it. The price of one bag of sesame is almost N13, 500 in the local market,” Wakili said.
On why farmers in Dukku area engage in mass sesame production, Alhaji Umaru said: “Well, there are many reasons. As rural farmers, we have to be wise because of our limited resources. And you see, sesame is more profitable with limited resources than other crops using the same resources. Sesame offers more return for less cost (less risk) than other crops. And it is very drought and insect friendly.”
“And now that more farmers are switching to sesame production, we have formed an association; Dukku Association of Sesame Growers, because we are very optimistic that this new government of President Buhari will revive the agricultural sector, which has suffered a serious neglect over the years by other governments, he noted.”
However, consequences of migrating to cash crops can be advantageous to the local farmers financially but would cause food shortage to the population in the long run. Virtually all the farmers in the area are subsistence-based; and going by the trend, someday the sesame growers would find themselves to have sold their entire farm produce and collected cash in turn rather than leaving behind the produce for their consumption.
Maize seed production at IITA Ibadan