The coordinator of the Fadama National Project, Taiwo Adewumi, has lauded women and Youth groups in Kaduna State over their involvement in tomato farming.
He disclosed this after touring some communities benefiting from fadama project and Ikara food processing company in the state and urged Imams and traditional leaders to always encourage youth and women to get involve in farming because it is the solution to poverty.
Taiwo expressed satisfaction with what he saw in the communities visited particularly Mezare Danwata village where he promised to provide market to the tomato farmers.
“We are going to support you with the market because we are not going to allow our farmers to lose their tomatoes. For Maizere danwata village in Soba we will find a way to make your road accessible so as to make it easier for you to transport your farm produce to market.
“The good thing is that the two Local Government Areas we visited have imbibed the culture of improve seedlings and that was what they have planted based on their experienced in 2016 tuta absoluta and the training they have gotten and the technical assistance.”
On their targeted hectares for farmers before end of the year, he added that “Dry season tomatoes farming started few years ago from 200-350 hectares. This year it was about 800 hectares and we have given a mandate that by next year we want to get to 2000 hectares of land to be cultivated in the state of which the state coordinator has assured us it will happen.
“I know with the support of commissioner of agriculture it will be achieved. The fruit seeds they have planted is resistant to tuta absoluta and I know that scientists have proffer lot of research and said tomatoes planted in dry season are tuta absoluta free. Which means tuta absoluta will be free not only in Kaduna but Nigeria.”
In her remarks, representative of the Minister of Agriculture, Heather Akanni said, “We are impressed the farmers have improved varieties of seeds that are resistant to pests and disease like tuta absoluta. We know what we went through last year when the disease broke out.”