After years of abandoning groundnut growing, farmers in Jingir Town, Bassa Local Government Area, Plateau State, have given an explanation of why they are now starting to do it again.
The farmers in Jos explained to reporters that historically poor prices were a significant factor in discouraging farmers from cultivating groundnuts.
Pyramids made of groundnuts were constructed in the 1960s in northern Nigerian cities like Kano, where groundnut farming was a significant economic driver.
The groundnut pyramids, however, vanished as groundnut output fell off in the 1970s and 1980s, and Nigeria’s economy turned its focus to crude oil.
According to farmers in Jingir, production of groundnuts fell in the past due to a number of circumstances, but tremendous potential has recently inspired them to restart groundnut farming.
Groundnut farmer Hamza Amadu echoed the sentiments of his colleagues when he said, “Before today, farmers gave up growing groundnuts because it wasn’t profitable. Today, though, they are resuming it gently. This is as a result of the good pay received by the few people who still work there. Due to the high expense of fertiliser, which discouraged many people from farming maize, they turned back to growing groundnuts, which don’t require fertiliser or a lot of resources.
Daniel Emose, a different farmer, stated: “Groundnut farming is now profitable. It was abandoned in the past because it wasn’t profitable, but today, many are taking the risk because of the money they can make from it. It doesn’t cost much to cultivate, and if you’re lucky, you get a lot of crop.
Mika Assabaru, a farmer, said “Groundnut cultivation is profitable because groundnut farmers live averagely. During the early harvest, we sold a 50kg for N20,000 even though the price has come down now. No matter the situation, groundnut farmers hardly lose.”
The farmers hope that agriculture will be given appropriate attention, so that the country could return to the era of groundnut pyramids of the 1960s.