Elated Kogi farmers commend APPEALS Projects, give testimonials
John Omeiza Sariki, Cluster Chairman of Oku Obanyi in Hihima Okehi LGA, said APPEALS started supporting them in 2020. The cluster has two groups which cultivated 43 hectares of cassava farm with the support of APPEALS project. Before APPEALS came, we were cultivating about 4 to 5 hectares, and we were using local farm implements. “APPEALS helped us with ploughing, harrowing and ridges for the 43 hectares and the supported us with farm inputs. They facilitated the provision of herbicides, fertilizers and provided us tricycle, cutlass, wheelbarrow, knapsack sprayer and other things. They trained us on how to apply fertilizer, how to plant cassava stem and the management of farm. We are expecting from 25 tons to 30 tons per hectare, before were getting just 10 tons per hectare. Before the intervention from APPEAL, we were getting about N300,000 per hectare, but currently, the price of cassava has increased to about N50,000 per ton”, Sariki said.
JOHN OMIEZA SARIKI
Another cassava farmer, Alao Ojo said APPEALS has taken them through many trainings on security of our farm, keeping record, farm maintenance. He said the training helped them a lot because their eyes are open to so many things they didn’t know before. During the training, we were taught how to do spacing when planting, before we just plant anyhow, but now we are able to know the maximum space to give during planting, how to apply fertilizer, how to apply herbicides”, he said.
- ALAO OJO
A woman cassava farmer, Aminetu Shuaibu said she has been in cassava farming for over 5 years; she appreciated the Federal Government and the Kogi government for bringing APPEALS to them. Shuaibu said her cassava farm is now bigger than what it used to be, and she is confident that the harvest would also be bigger than her previous harvest.
In Ochaja Community, Dekina Local government in Kogi State, farmers abandoned their cashew farms because of lack of support. The farmers in the community said bushes overgrow their cashew farms because they don’t have the money and energy to continue farming.
Chief Yahaya Ibrahim, the traditional ruler of the community who is also a cashew farmer said he has 12 hectares of cashew, but I ignored it for the past 10 years but with coming of APPEALS project in the state, they have been able to reignite my interest in farming again.
He said between 2019 and 2020, APPEALS has been organising workshops and seminars for them on the importance of cashew, the agronomic aspect, packaging and others. Ibrahim said last year, Kogi APPEALS facilitated the distribution of cashew farming implements that they can use in their farms, and like cutlass, slashers. “The reason why I ignored my farm is because the work became tedious, and there were no materials to use, no financial support, but when we were given the slashers, a place that 5 labourers can cover in a day, just with one litre of fuel, you will clear the place in a day.
“After clearing the farm, APPEALS also supported us with herbicides and insecticide, they gave us manual sprayers and the motor-ride sprayer to use on our farm”, he noted. He said before now, the middlemen buy their products at ridiculous prices, but APPEALS connected them with off-takers who they sell directly to on a good price. “Go to our community now, you will see people erecting modern houses as a result of the Kogi APPEALS intervention”,
He lamented that the time frame given APPEALS in Nigeria is too short. “If APPEALS continue in Kogi till the next 10 years, there would be massive poverty alleviation in the state.
YAHAYA IBRAHIM MUSA
Another cashew farmer, and Chairman of Ochaja Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Noah Yusufu said he was discouraged about farming because he doesn’t have the money and the energy but since APPEALS came in, he returned to the farm after they were trained. “Before APPEALS came in, I always encounter Bush burning in my farm, but after trainings by APPEALS, I now harvest double of what I used to harvest in the past. “Formally, I rarely harvest 15 bags from my 7 hectares farm, but after training and provision of farm inputs by APPEALS, I got about 45 bags from the same farm and each bag costs about N40,000. “APPEALS has changed our lives, some of us are erecting houses, I will buy my own car and build my house very soon.“Whenever we harvest, we invite the off-takers who come to our farms or houses and buy up everything, but previously, those middlemen decide the prices of our products without our knowledge”.
- NOAH YUSUF
Another woman farmer, Sarah Ameh and a member of Ajedama Group said before, her farm became bushy, and the cost of clearing it was too high, even if she pays labourers to clear it, they will collect the money do a half job and run away. “But APPEALS gave me cutlass, rake, mougher and sprayer, so, I share the cutlass to the labourers and the do the job for me”, she added.
MADAM SARAH AMEH
In Chakaruku, Kogi local government of Kogi State, rice farmers said their yield had increased drastically following the strict adherence to the good agronomic practices taught them by Kogi APPEALS. Mohammed Zakari, one of the farmers, said before the intervention of APPEALS, they were farming manually and the yield was very small. He said they used to farm one hectare of rice per person, but after the intervention of APPEALS, each person now cultivate 3 to 4 hectares of rice. “Before, each hectare gives you 20 bags of rice paddy, but after taking us through some good agronomic practices and facilitating for us the necessary farm inputs, we now harvest about 50 bags of rice paddy per hectare”, he said. He further explained “When we sell our rice to off-takers, some use the money to build houses, buy motor and send our children to schools. We have 6 groups comprising of 10 persons per group, and each group cultivate an average of 20 hectares with the intervention of Kogi APPEALS ”, he noted
- MOHAMMED ZEKERI
One of the farmers in the community, Abdullahi Attahiru said before the intervention of APPEALS project I use to farm 2 hectares and harvest 35bags of paddy rice but with the support of Kogi APPEALS I was able to harvest 70 bags which I sold some bags and used the proceeds to buy a local rice milling machine so that I can be milling my rice and packaging them to get a good price, and the other ten bags were sold to send my son to higher institution to further his studies.
- ABDULLAHI ATTAHIRU STANDING BY THE MILLING MACHINE HE BOUGHT
I thank Kogi APPEALS for what they have done for us in Chakaruku farm cluster. Before the intervention of APPEALS, I use to harvest 35 bags of rice paddy from my 2 hectare farm but, with the intervention from Kogi APPEALS through trainings and farm inputs, I was able to harvest over 70 bags of rice which I was able to sell at a good price. This has enabled me to take care of myself and my family. For example, I was able buy a car for myself to help in my business. That is the car behind me.