AGRI­CUL­TURE Mak­ing money through moringa farm­ing

Daily Trust - - AGRICULTURE - By Vin­cent A. Yusuf & Foluke Ojumu

Over the years moringa plant farm­ing has con­tin­ued to flour­ish, as many farm­ers seize op­por­tu­ni­ties it of­fers for them to earn a liv­ing. It is a plant said to have enor­mous ben­e­fits for mankind.

Farm­ers in the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT) are be­gin­ning to use any avail­able space to cul­ti­vate moringa as it is said to be in high de­mand in the city.

Apo is home and farm to some po­lice of­fi­cers who will not just fold their hands and feel com­fort­able with what they earn but do some­thing to earn ad­di­tional cash.

It is com­mon sight to see tick green moringa farms as one drives to­wards the Apo me­chanic vil­lage.

One of the farm­ers, a po­lice in­spec­tor (who prefers to re­main anony­mous), said she ven­tured into moringa farm­ing in Apo be­cause of the money she makes from it.

The farm is a means of earn­ing ad­di­tional in­come to her salary.

Tak­ing the re­porters through her farm, she said that hav­ing a moringa farm has re­ally been of great sup­port to her fam­ily as most of her fi­nances are taken care of with the money she earns from her farm.

“As a civil ser­vant, I just have a few more years to re­tire and the moringa farm that I have will serve as a source of in­come for me and my fam­ily af­ter my re­tire­ment,” she said.

She ex­plained that the moringa seed has more mon­e­tary value than the leaves with a kilo of it sold for N1,700, adding that moringa farm­ing is not dif­fi­cult to start as a farmer might not need fer­tiliser to make the plant grow quickly.

Although there is sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of po­lice farm­ers in the area, most of them were at their duty posts when Daily Trust vis­ited the area.

Adamu Mo­hammed is another moringa farmer in Utako Dis­trict. He stressed that the de­mand for the prod­uct is far more than the sup­ply point­ing that out the rea­son why the leaves are hardly al­lowed to ma­ture prop­erly be­fore harvest.

“You see peo­ple come to ask for this ev­ery time, even if you tell them you don’t have they will beg for the lit­tle ones they see. That is why the leaves are al­lowed to ma­ture and the plant to pro­duce the seeds which are more ex­pen­sive,” he ex­plained.

But Abubakar Bashir, who has a small-size farm at Masaka, at the out­skirts of Abuja, told Daily Trust that the de­mand for the prod­uct is over­whelm­ing and that farm­ers are hardly al­lowed to give the plant time to pro­duce the seeds.

“For many of us who don’t have any other sources of in­come, it’s a dif­fi­cult thing to do,” he noted.

Dur­ing the rain­ing sea­son, farm­ers can harvest at least three times a sea­son.

Depend­ing on the size of the farm, a farmer can also gen­er­ate sig­nif­i­cant in­come with which to meet fam­ily fi­nan­cial needs.

With less ef­fort, a small size of land can ac­com­mo­date many stems that can within a short pe­riod grow into tick forests and pro­duce the seeds that can be used for ex­port to China or In­dia, where they are pro­cessed for both con­sump­tion and ex­port.

Kebbi State farm­ers over the week­end,urged gov­ern­ment to pro­vide ad­e­quate sources of wa­ter and trans­porta­tion to dry sea­son farm­ers with a view to suc­ceed in the ef­fort to self suf­fi­ciency in states agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion.

The State Chair­man, Rice Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (RI­FAN) Mal­lam Abubakar Maifata, made the call when of­fi­cials of the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN), rep­re­sen­ta­tive of other banks and farm­ers as­so­ci­a­tions in the state, paid a cour­tesy call on Gover­nor Atiku Bagudu at Gov­ern­ment House, Birnin Kebbi.

He com­mended the state gov­ern­ment for its as­sis­tance to the farm­ers and ap­pealed for ad­e­quate and timely pro­vi­sion of farm in­puts to boost agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion in the state.

“We ap­peal to gov­ern­ment to pro­vide ad­e­quate sources of wa­ter and trans­porta­tion to farm­ers with a view to suc­ceed in the ef­fort to self suf­fi­ciency in agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion,” he said.

Gover­nor Atiku Bagudu while ex­press­ing sat­is­fac­tion over the visit of stake hold­ers in rice, wheat and sugar cane pro­duc­tion in the state, said the visit was in con­form­ity with the ear­lier agree­ments among the stake hold­ers.

He as­sured farm­ers of the gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to pro­vide all nec­es­sary as­sis­tance to­wards boost­ing agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties in the state.

A moringa farm owned by a po­lice­man in Apo, Abuja

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