Gombe farmers seek improved investment in dry season farmers



 Some farmers in Dogon-Ruwa Community in Kaltungo Local Government Council of Gombe State have advocated for improved investment in dry season farming to encourage agricultural production.

A cross section of the farmers made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Dogon-Ruwa community.

They said such investment was critical to sustainable growth of irrigation activities and poverty reduction amongst rural dwellers to achieved food sufficiency.

Malam Ahmadu Audu, a multi-crop farmer, said that most small holder farmers relied on rainfed culvation due to lack of access to water sources to enable them to engage in large scale production.

Audu said the trend resulted to idleness and poverty among rural dwellers in the state.

Audu said most farmers do not complain immediately after harvesting their crops from wet season farming, “because they have enough to feed and sale some of the produce to meet other needs.

“The major challenge sinking farmers and rural dwellers into poverty is the period between the end of the wet season and the commencement of the next cropping season.

“This resulted to urban – rural migration, many farmers moved to Gombe metropolis and engaged in commercial motorcycle or tricycle trade.

“Therefore, we need empowerment especially in communities with potentials for dry season farming,’’ he said.

Audu said that irrigation farmers made good savings from cultivating cash crops during dry season, adding that he earned about N500,000 from onion farming annually.

He said that increased investments in dry season farming would translate into job creation for youths and curb “unnecessary migration of youths to urban centres.’’

Another farmer, Ibrahim Bako, said that most irrigation farmers were not cultivating their farmlands during dry season due to lack of access to water in the area.

“Most of us depend on water for irrigation, presently, we are finding it difficult and this is impoverishing farmers who have to wait for over eight months to cultivate their farmlands during raining season.’’ he said.

Bako urged the state government to assist farmers by investing to harness dry season farming potentials, adding that it would also increase farmers’ income, create more jobs and enhance food security.

“Improved investments in dry season farming will engage farmers in all-year-round farming activities.

“This will reduce poverty amongst the people of the state since majority of them are farmers,” he said.

He further commended the federal and state government for engaging some youths in the community to cultivate wheat during 2021 dry season farming. (NAN)