Improved cowpea seeds creating wealth for Benue farmers

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Spear farmers in the state of Benue receive income from improved cowpea production to improve the lives of their households and bridge the economic gap in their communities.

Wilfred Adogo, a low-income native, no longer suffers from family hunger since he ventured to produce grape seeds on his spacious farmland along the Gbajimba Road in Makurdi.

Although employees of the Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi (FUAM) Adogo said that his monthly salary does not take anything home and cannot meet the growing needs of his wife and six children.

“So I started farming. Initially, my wigner was not very good, because I did not know where to get improved seeds until 2015, when I started to get good seedlings of varieties from FUAM. I can tell you that everything has changed for the better since then, ”he said.

Adogo testified that the income he received from his farm last year allowed him to start building an apartment in nine rooms for his family, in addition to the fact that he easily paid for the school fees of his children.

According to him, this year he decided that this year the early ripening wigner would be released again on four hectares of agricultural land after harvesting corn from the same portion, stressing that the plants do so well and will be ready for harvest in 20 days.

He said that the expected harvest would bring him more money than last year, which was only 12 bags of fork, and he sold each of these bags for the price of N50,000.

“I have already used this money to build the foundation of a nine-room apartment. My children have not enough, because it is an additional income. I use the small salary I earn from my job at FUAM to buy fertilizers and chemicals for processing the farm. As you can see, I am fine, and only this season I planted two different crops on this land, ”Adogo added.

For him, the most interesting aspect of grape seed production this year was the rush of other farmers, including the promising, who booked for seedlings because they were fascinated by the variety.

Adogo told our correspondent, who visited a four-hectare farm along the Uniagrig-Gbaggymba road, which at least 50 people gave him a certain percentage of money as a partial payment for him to save some seeds for them after harvest.

Despite the fact that he expects to collect at least 40 bags of cowpea from the farm, Adogo said that he would meet the needs of those who have already ordered seeds with an additional crop from two other farms, where he grew crops in smaller quantities.

To this end, he appealed to the state government to provide tractor services so that farmers like him could expand their farms for mass production of cowpea, as he is now beginning to attract attention in the state because of access to improved seed varieties from agricultural farms,

Currently, Adogo is investing a lot of time, using his wife, six children and other dependents during the working hour, who, he said, will drastically decrease if there are tractors to do this work.

He stressed: “If I know where to get the tractor, I will pay for the services and expand my farm. I grow this crop as a seed producer and sell it to other farmers in the factory. I have a FUAM PEA -1 bag of N50,000 for a bag to cultivate on this farm so you can imagine how much money I will make at the end of the season if I double the size of this farm. ”

Adogo noted that the improved seeds have become a delight to the farmer lately, because he produces at the same time, he is more tasty than the old variety and healthier for the diet than the one that was formally available.

In addition to him, there were also some women groups who grew the same type of cowpea on a farm on the same Gbadjimba route as part of their cooperative activities to generate income for a better life.

In addition, Vitaly Tarnongu, a large cellist-farmer, spoke about the unexpected story of Benue farmers who are engaged in the production of cowpea, stressing that the harvest is simply doing well.

Tarnongu said he acquired his improved seeds from the Coordinator of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (ITA) in the state in order to plant on his 44 hectares of cowpea farms located in some parts of the state.

He added: “My farm from the vineyard is doing well. I'm going to harvest in November. ”

For his part, Professor Lucky Omoigui, a breeder at the College of Agronomy of the Federal Agricultural University, Makurdi, who developed FUAMPEA 1 in collaboration with IITA, expressed satisfaction with the development of farms.

Omogigu called on the state government to support the university in expanding its availability of improved grape seeds to more farmers in the state, as it currently works only in four of the 23 local government districts with limited support from IITA, which, he said, are not sufficient for coverage of the entire state.

At the same time encouraging idlers to imitate Adogo and engage in farming to earn a decent life and ensure food security for the state, the breeder wants the government to at least create tractor services in all the headquarters of the local government to attract young people to mechanized farming. improve the situation of citizens.

“The government should introduce tractors in all LGAs in order to attract young people to mechanized farming. Look at what this young man (Adogo) does; he set an example for the youth. He became a major seed dealer for his entire community. The project is affecting people's lives, and this is the only way that villagers can benefit, ”Omigigu said.

To this end, the breeder noted that they are trying to develop more varieties of cowpea in the institution, so that a particular variety has not been used for more than five years, because he stressed that the existing varieties are resistant to shearing and that they have taught farmers how to keep their crops better. on weevils without the use of chemicals.

Similarly, Mr. Teryima Iorlamen, the lead investigator with IITA, suggested that commercial production of cowpea would remain in Benue, adding that with the success of the program there will be a huge market for state crops.

He urged women and young people to take advantage of the skills that the university and IIT provided for running farm cowpeople because of their capabilities, especially with regard to the law on the opening of pastures, there are more opportunities to use them.

Yormenen stressed that “with the anti-open pernicious law of the state, some of our farmers will use the grape crop with higher feed, which also serves as animal feed to get double benefits.”

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