It is no gainsaying that investment in agriculture is glaringly the best way to unlock the country’s potentials, curb excess dependence on oil, achieve food security and create job opportunities for millions idling away for lack of white collar jobs.
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, in his speech during an annual general meeting and conference of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture stated that, “Growing our own food, processing what we produce, becoming competitive in export markets, and creating jobs all across the economy, are crucial for our national security,”
Taraba State on its part has continued to receive partnership from foreign investors to boost the Agricultural sector of the Governor Darius Ishaku led administration, as the Governor has not also rested his oars in advocating and investing in the field.
Today the land is fortunate to have a son of the soil, who has not only seen the need to key into the Governor’s vision and mission of rescuing in the agricultural sector, but passionately desiring to maximise the great agricultural potentials of the state as well as contribute his own quota to the development of his father land, has come home to invest in a multi-million farming project in Vendu Nange, Ardo-Kola Local Government Area of the State.
Taravoices lens was attracted to the noble service of Alh. Yahaya Aliyu Muhammed, a descent of Lau Local Government Area, the CEO and founder, AYA farms, owing to the magnitude of the project embarked upon by this young, humble, gifted, energetic and passion driven investor.
According to him, these days people cannot afford to earn a living if they don’t work hard because the government has come to a point where it has been stretched to its elasticity limit and can barely afford to pay salaries of civil servants for lack of funds. For this reason, he decided to embark on this gigantic project to bring about the necessary human development.
He said, having engaged in livestock farming for ten years, he felt the need to venture into cropping as a way to develop home in order to create employment, and agriculture is the best medium since it can touch the most remote areas where government presence cannot be found, which is why he situated the farm in its present location so as to bring development to the people and to improve their thinking toward farming and cattle rearing.
With a farm of about 70 hectares, one will wonder how it could be managed successfully. However with Alh. Yahaya’s experience and passion, coupled with dedication and hard work in addition to his staff strength, made up of a farm manager who is a senior lecturer in the College of Agriculture here in Taraba, Mr. Victor Edward as well as graduates, gives him an added advantage.
Due to his commitment, stamina and passion for the farm, Yahaya walks round it every day to supervise, saying when you are lazy, you cannot be successful in such a venture.
It was amazing seeing various species of crops spanning over vast expanse of land and valued both within and outside the Country.
The Rice is a hybrid specie which include the Upland and Lowland rice which takes 2 months, 15 days and 3months respectively to cultivate and harvest, which means such Rice can be cultivated twice a year.
The Guinea Corn is also a hybrid used by breweries for producing beer. Other special crops in the farm include Maize, Cowpea and Soya Beans which are very unique with different purposes.
Alh. Yahaya also intends to start irrigation farming from January where he can grow Wheat and Ginger.
Speaking about the benefit of the project and its impact in the State, one of the staff, Philemon, a native of Lau Local Government Area, commended the good work Mr. Yahaya is doing, stressing that it has helped to a large extent in curbing idleness among the workers.
He said, when people are idle, they interfere with other people’s business and wander aimlessly about fermenting trouble, but for them for instance, after engaging in the day’s activity at the farm, they go back to their homes too tired to bother about others, more so that they go back with some cash to meet family demands.
According to Philemon, “it is God that has spoken to this man to come and invest in the State. I pray that God will also speak to others like him who have left home for long to come back and help in developing their fatherland since God has prospered them”.
It is worthy of note at this point that, despite the laudable project of this esteemed son of the soil, a journey that is expected to last 10 minutes from Jalingo to the site of the farm through Rafin Yangdam, encounters a major challenge due to lack of a bridge linking the State capital to Vendu Nange community. It takes approximately one hour drive to get to the farm through a rough terrain, making it difficult to bring farm equipment to and from the farm as well as getting food produce to the market.
Alhaji Yahaya, therefore, appealed to the State Government to come to their aid as well as the community in question and other farmers who leave the city to farm in that part of the State.