Benue yam farm­ers get bumper har­vest

Daily Trust - - GOLDEN HARVEST - From Hope Abah, Makurdi

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.

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