After a heavy lost to tuta absoluta last farming season, tomato farmers in Kano have renewed interest for massive production of the crop next season.
This was sequel to modern farming techniques and improved varieties of the crop introduced to them by an agric based nonprofit international organization, Technoserve, in collaboration with Syngenta agro limited.
The farmers, some of whom have already started shifting to the cultivation of other food crops due to the experience they had previous season expressed confidence in the new farming method saying it is more economical, and holds potentials for a better yield in relations to their old practices.
Alhaji Shehu Yahaya, a farmer at Rimin Dako, Bagwai Local government said before the coming of the intervention many have made up their minds to quit tomato production because of the problem they had with the crop last season.
‘’last cropping season I planted tomatoes in five different plots but out of the five I was not able to recover what I spent on even one due to the pestilence that befall the crop last year; because of that many people have decided to quit this tomato business for other crops until God sends these people to us.
‘’Alhamdulilahi, from what we’ve learnt, now we know that we have been using wrong and expensive method of farming from land preparation, planting and fertilizer application and I believe that many people are being encouraged to try this method in the coming season’’ he said.
Malam Husseini Ardo, another farmer in Marga, Bichi local government blamed their perennial ordeals over lack of appropriate inputs and enlightenment on modern farming techniques.
He appealed to the collaborating groups (Technoserve/Syngenta) to ensure timely supply of basic farm inputs including fertilizers, seedlines and chemicals so as to be able to overcome their long standing challenges as farmers.
In response the president Technoserve, Mr William Warshauer reiterated commitment of the organization to ensuring that farmers acquire proper training in accordance with the best global practices.
‘’Our package is mostly about skills and knowledge and connection we believe in the long run people can acquire skills they need they can get the market connection they need, access to finance sometimes and that’s what will allow them feed their families not just today, not just this growing season but for the years and decades to come’’ Warshuer said.
Technoserve/syngenta collaboration has so far trained about 650,000 small holder farmers across 18 northern states in the cultivation of vegetables and cereal crops.