Plateau farmers to produce 5,975 metric tonnes of tomatoes
The Fadama lll project in Plateau says arrangement has been concluded for farmers in the state to make available 5,975 metric tonnes of tomatoes for the rainy season.
Coordinator of the project in the state, Mr Gideon Dandam, made this known to with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday.
According to him, the project through its Additional Funding (AF) had accessed N200 million from the World Bank for the production of the crop in the rainy season.
Dandam said that the funds would be disbursed to the 1,000 selected farmers as grant in order to massively produce the crop so as to avert scarcity during wet season.
He said over 239 hectares of land had been selected and made available in seven local government areas of the state for the production of the crop.
The World Bank through Fadama III AF has approved N200 million for us on Plateau for the production of tomato crop during this rainy season.
We have already identified 1,000 farmers that will be empowered with skills and resources, 239 hectares of land for the production.
Each of the hectares will produce 25 tones of tomatoes, which means that in this rainy season, we shall make available 5,975 metric tones of the crop in the market.
We are bent on addressing the scarcity of the crop not only on the Plateau, but in the country at large in this wet season,” Dandam said.
He explained that the open system farming would be used to grow the crop, adding that improved varieties would be made available to the farmers so as to produce better yield.
Dandam further explained that the improved variety would enable the crop withstand all challenges associated with its production.
He said that the project would provide farmers with pesticides and fungicides with other modern farming implements like spraying machines to enable effective control of insects that usually affected the crop.
Our concern is to provide an enabling environment that will ensure effective production of the crop,” Dandam said.The coordinator said that the project had engaged the services of an expert who would provide professional and advisory services to farmers.
He said marketers also known as off-takers who would mop up the product from the point of production were already on ground to address the issue of lack of market.
NAN reports that the seven local governments where the crop would be grown include Pankshin, Barkin Ladi, Mangu, Lantang North, Jos East, Bassa and Kanke.