Tuesday, May 9, 2017 1:12 pm
The Association of Date Palm Growers in Jigawa says it has identified over 15 parcels of land that are suitable for date palm cultivation in the state.
The Chairman of the association, Alhaji Abubakar Yakubu, said this on Tuesday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse.
He said that the identified lands were in Hadejia, Kazaure, Ringim, KafinHausa, Dutse, Gumel, Gwaram and Birninkudu Local Government Areas of the state.
Yakubu said that the lands were suitable for date palm growing because of their wet nature.
“These lands we identified are very good and suitable for the production of date palm because they are wet lands.
“In short, when date palm is growing on them, you don’t need to water it and we considered this as cost saving.
“And we identified over 15 of such lands in some local government areas of the state; we are hoping to find more,’’ he said.
Yakubu, therefore, called for the intervention of the federal and state governments in efforts to develop such lands in order to boost date palm production in the state.
He also urged the federal and state governments to include date palm growers in their agricultural development programmes, so as to provoke mass production of the fruit.
Yakubu stressed that the government support for date palm growers would encourage production and exportation of date palm fruits.
He said that this would further improve the socio-economic lives of people, particularly the residents of the areas where the date palm was grown.
He said that the government’s intervention would also enable date palm producers to learn modern techniques and skills to boost their activities.
“Since the two governments promised to develop agriculture, we therefore call for the expansion of their agricultural support programmes to include date palm production.
“Such support is essential to enable us to produce in large quantity and export,’’ he said.
Yakubu also called for the training of the date palm producers in modern preservation techniques to encourage the production of “hygienic fruit’’.
He, however, commended the Dutse Date Palm Sub-Station of National Institute for Palm Oil Research (NIPOR) for supporting the date palm growers in the neighbourhood with improved seedlings and other inputs so as to boost their productivity.
NAN reports that date palm is widely grown in Jigawa, while its capital, Dutse, which is known for different species of date palm, has a large population of date palm growers.