COVID 19, Agriculture And Food Supply

By Denen Achussah

Benue State supplies nearly all classes of food money can buy. The arable soil in the state supports the production of grains, roots and tubers, vegetables and fruits. Benue State boasts of two large water bodies: River Benue and River Katsina-Ala.

In spite agricultural production in the state is still carried out largely with primitive implements, small holder farmers on aggregate basis produce enough to feed the state and sell out. Recently, the Government of Benue State placed 50 tractors for sell to farmers at 60 per cent subsidy. It is hoped that once on the fields, production will increase.

ThisWeek is interested in what is produced, where and access as well as market value.

Improving agricultural production in Benue State is significant to the economy of the state. Even without direct policy of government, the agriculture sector boasts as the major employer of labour in the state. In other words, more than 75 per cent of the population relies on agriculture for their livelihood.

What is the place of agriculture in the face of Covid- 19? Oil prices have crashed. This could be a turning point to agriculture.

Even as Covid -19 cpntinues to bite, the planting season is here. Late planting of yams in Benue State starts in April and extends to May. Groundnuts, pepper are planted in April, with soyabeans, rice and other grains coming up later in the year; same as Cassava.

While citrus is flowing, with other citrus farms getting ripe, mangoes are ripe for consumption. Different kinds of Mango including but not limited to john, peter, jurie, hindi, mango u Tiv (the un-grafted mango) are already in the market.

READ:   COVID-19: Benue Slashes 2020 Budget By N70 Billion

Benniseed, melon can be planted alongside groundnut. However, they can be planted separately, up to August; same as Maize.

Last season’s harvest, including grains, tubers and roots are still in the markets.

Major markets for food crops include: Ihugh, Agbo, Adikpo, Lessel, Jato-Aka, Achia, Zaki Biam, Vaase, Sa-i, Tom Anyiin, Ugba, Akpagher, etc.

Keep a date with us, as we give you update on the food market in Benue State.

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