By Mercy Enulue
Sabon Gida – The National Coordinator/Secretary-General of the Nigerian Farmers Group and Cooperative Society, Mr Retson Tedheke, says the group is determined to help interested Nigerians in diaspora to own farms in Nigeria.
Tedheke said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sabon Gida on Sunday.
He said: ”No matter your location in Nigeria or abroad you can own a farm,” adding that the cooperative would help them to manage the investment from production to harvest and marketing.
He said that at the end of the season, whatever was havested would be sold and the profit shared.
He said that the cooperative was formed in 2015, “when agriculture was not included in the nation’s budget.”
Tedheke described the herdsmen/farmers clashes in the area as one of major challenges facing the group.
He said that the group introduced some measures in tackling the menace, including holding regular meetings with the herders and hiring some of their young ones as security guards.
He also identified eratic power supply in the area as another serious challenge faced by the cooperative, saying that they run their farms on standby diesel generators.
Tedheke said that the neglect of agriculture by past administrations led to the nation’s economic downturn and dependence on foreign products.
He said, ”If agriculture was given priority and we have a manufacturing economy, we would have been exporting finished goods and earning foreign exchange.”
An employee of the group, Mr Adamu Babagadri, said the cooperative provided jobs for hundreds of youths at the farm.
Babagadri thanked God for the cooperative, saying that it built a new school, road and the palace of the traditional head of its host community.
A resident of the community, Mornica Pada, described the cooperative as a blessing, saying that it had brought development, including good road, water and school, to the area.
She said that the adult education school being planned by the cooperative would help more people to acquire formal education, even at old age.
Pada advised women and youths in the area to take advantage of the opportunities created by the cooperative to become self-reliant and less dependent on their husbands.
“I want my fellow women and the youths not to be idle because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
”They should sit up and get something doing rather than being lady,” she said.