Dry season farmers in Taraba State have opted for solar and gas-driven water pumping machines as a result of the high costs of diesel and petrol.
Mallam Ibrahim, a large scale farmer, said last year he spent a lot of money in fueling his water pump engines.
He explained that, “The costs of diesel and petrol have increased the cost of production, and as a result farmers did not make good profits, and therefore the new innovation is a welcome development to all dry season farmers in Taraba State.”
He noted that last year the fuel subsidy was not removed but that dry season farmers spent so much in fueling their water pumping machines, and that it had discouraged many farmers from embarking on dry season farming.
Ibrahim stated further that now with the removal of the fuel subsidy farmers would spend more than what they spent last year, adding that the new innovation was a child of necessity.
He further said, “It will be very difficult for dry season farmers to buy fuel at the present price and also buy seeds, fertiliser and other inputs and make any profit. Therefore, opting for solar and gas-driven water pump engines is the best option for dry season farmers.”
Another farmer, Eng Yahaya Mafindi, told our reporter that last year he started using solar water pumping machines in his Sheka irrigation farm and that it helped in reducing cost of production.
He said with the innovation of gas and car battery-driven water pump engines in addition to solar system machines the cost of production would further reduce.
He noted that, “We are not getting any subsidy for our farming activities from the government. Therefore, we look at every means to cut production cost; and the new innovations will enable farmers reduce cost of production.”
Eng Yahaya explained further that without the new approach irrigation farming would reduce in the state and in the Northern part of Nigeria because farmers would not afford the costs of petrol and diesel.