How Jos residents take to gardening
An increasing number of residents of Jos, Plateau State, have been engaged in farming and planting different crops within their various houses rather than doing that on farms.
Similarly, farming around, rocks, which are spread all over Jos and around residential areas, has become the order of the day.
Crops like maize, groundnut, Irish potatoes, beans, guinea corn, millet, okra, as well as different vegetables, among other crops are planted. It is a common sight to see mostly women in the morning and evening either planting, weeding or harvesting.
This kind of ‘home farming’ is also common in police, army and airforce barracks in Jos, as well as staff quarters of various organisations.
A woman, who engages in house farming in the Kufang area of Jos South, Elizabeth Yusuf, said that kind of farming has been assisting her to get soup ingredients without having to go out to buy or trouble her husband to give her money.
She said apart from the usual crops like maize and potatoes which are popular, she also plants tomatoes, pepper, onions, bitter leaf, okra, among others in her compound, which she used to prepare her stew and other dishes.
According to her, her children have also picked interest in house farming and are assisting her.
Another woman in Lamingo, Asabe Izam, said such practice should be encouraged because most of the farms are far away from the city.
She said it was also ideal for people who have leg pain, rheumatism, or other health challenges.
She said the only challenge she faced was that of theft and the menace of some domestic animals eating the plants.
Dayyib Zachariah Adam, who is the Chairman of Farmers Association in Gengere Ward, Jos, said the benefits of such farming are numerous, adding that the foremost encouraging factor was that the lands are fertile all over and many plants/crops could grow well.
He said those farming around their houses could easily water the crops, especially during the dry season.
He, however, said plants like yams are better planted on the farms.
The chairman said the cases of pigs eating crops planted around houses has been a serious menace, and that they have several times taken the owners of the pigs to court.
He said domestic theft of plants was also a challenge, especially maize, advising that people should always watch out for thieves who steal crops or animals who eat them up.
Adam said where necessary, the farmers should endeavour to fence their farms.