INTERVIEW: Women in Agriculture: My biggest challenge — Farmer


Janet Jiya says her land is good but lack of capital is keeping her from expanding her farm.

Janet Jiya, 30, is a smallholder farmer in Niger State. In this third of our new interview series on women in farming, she shares her experience with PREMIUM TIMES’ Oge Udegbunam.

PT: What do you cultivate?

Ms Jiya: I cultivate sorghum

PT: Whose land do you use?

Ms Jiya: I use my family land that I inherited from my father.

PT: What is the size of the land?

Ms Jiya: It is one hectare or thereabout.

PT: How long have you been cultivating?

Ms Jiya: Five years.

PT: How do you get seeds?

Jiya: I get my seeds from the Agricultural Transformation Agenda support programme.

PT: Why did you select the crop you cultivate?

Ms Jiya: Firstly, it is a generational crop because our fathers also cultivated it and I decided to continue with the crop. Naturally, I have interest in the crop too. It is also the most consumed crop in my village. I sell it off quickly and the soil is favourable to the crop.

PT: Have you heard about improved seeds?

Ms Jiya: Yes, I have.

PT: Do you use them?

Ms Jiya: Like I mentioned earlier, I use seeds from a support programme. The seeds they supply are improved and they give good yields.

PT: Do you use machines?

Ms Jiya: No I don’t. My farm is not very big. Apart from that, I do not have enough money to buy or rent any machine.

PT: What is your average output?

Ms Jiya: The output varies, depending on the year, season and other factors. Some years are good and I get about six to seven bags but sometimes, it is three to four bags.

PT: How do you preserve your goods?

Ms Jiya: I do not have good storage facilities so I keep my goods in the store.

PT: Who provides labour on your farm?

Ms Jiya: I use my brothers and some children around, it is cheaper for me.

PT: Do you sell or consume your produce?

Ms Jiya: I sell everything.

PT: Where do you sell them?

Ms Jiya: I sell them in different markets that are close to me.

PT: Some of the goods you don’t sell in the market, how do you preserve them?

Ms Jiya: I put them in a sack and I use chemicals to stop rodents from eating them up.

PT: Do you get support from the government?

Ms Jiya: No, I don’t.

PT: Have you received any palliative for Covid-19 from government or any group?

Ms Jiya: No, I have not.

PT: Have you experienced discrimination from male farmers?

Ms Jiya: No, I haven’t.

PT: Have you been harrassed before on the farm?

Ms Jiya: No, no man can do that. I am using my father’s farm so I am not crossing my boundaries.

PT: What is you biggest problem as a farmer?

Source: Premium Times

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