Beniseed harvests have commenced in Benue State with farmers expressing contrasting views on demand for the produce and returns on investment.
Some farmers, who just started harvesting, are optimistic about making good profit from an expected high demand for the produce within and outside Benue state.
Benue State Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Aondona Kuhe, is one of those pleased about the beniseed harvest for this year and believes it is better than that of the last season.
“Beside the good harvest, the demand for beniseed is higher this year. A 100kg bag is now sold for N32,000 as against last year when it cost lower. The harvest too is better this year than the last season,” he stated.
But the Chairman of Beniseed Farmers and Sellers Association, Iordye Charles, has expressed a differing view. He described this year’s harvest season as unfavourable.
“Our farmers planted the crop late and the rain caught up with them. We didn’t have good harvest as expected, especially with the appearance of army worms and aflatoxin which disturbed early germination of the crop as well as early stoppage of rain,” he said.
Charles also said he suspected sharp practices in the sale of beniseeds at markets. He said he believed that buyers were forcing farmers to sell the produce at the cost of N30,000 per 100kg bag categorized as ‘unclean’ and either N36,000 or N37,000 per 100kg bag categorized as ‘clean’.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that beniseed farmers in Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi and Kano recently completed their own harvests. They were reported to have recorded bumper harvests and have been enjoying more demand for the food item compared to last year.
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