Benue yam farmers get bumper harvest
Yam farmers in Benue State have expressed delight at the bumper harvest from their various farms this year despite the heavy rainfall which caused flooding in some parts of the state.
This is even as most of the farmers were unable to procure subsidised fertiliser from the state government due to the late arrival of the product at the Ministry of Agriculture.
A yam farmer in Logo area of the state, Mr. Tor Aca, told Daily Trust that he couldn’t wait to buy subsidised fertiliser from the state government because he planted his seedlings early in February before the commencement of rainfall to enable him get better yield.
“I can tell you that my yams turned out very good. The ones I planted in April after the rain started are not bad but they are not as good as the ones planted in February. I couldn’t wait for the state government’s fertiliser because it came in very late, I had to buy from the open market,” he said.
Aca noted that his yam production this year was more satisfying than last year, adding that he hopes to harvest the farm by the end of December to feed his large family and also to sell for profit.
Similarly, Mrs. Margret Elijah, an Otukpo based yam farmer, has attributed the bountiful harvest she had this year to the use of herbicides which she said contributed a great deal to better the yields than the previous seasons.
She told our correspondent that the herbicides applied on her yam farm this year contained some elements found in fertilisers so that apart from ridding grasses, it helped the crops to yield very well.
In the same vein, another Otukpo yam farmer, Mr. Michael Ogli, claimed that he applied best agronomy practises to achieve his desired bumper harvest just as he plans to make good use of the yams in January next year.
“I got very good harvest because I planted on time, around March and didn’t wait for the rains to affect my seedlings. I didn’t have to use fertiliser because the herbicide which was applied on the farm facilitated the growth of the yams,” Ogli added.
He also said that before now, the older generations in his community were planting yams in December but due to the general belief of climate change as well as chemicals wearing out the soil, most people like him now plant yam seedling early in the year.
Also, some yam farmers in Makurdi local government area confessed to have harvested bigger and better looking yams this year than they did last year.
One of the farmers, Baba Agan, said his yam produce this year was better than anything he harvested the previous season, though he is still keeping tab on the farm until December.