Making Sabke Dam Bank Profitable Site For Tomato, Pepper Factory | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Making Sabke Dam Bank Profitable Site For Tomato, Pepper Factory

sabke dam
Posted: Mar 25, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

 Naomi Sharang


Concerned residents of Katsina State note that although there are three large dams and other smaller ones across the state, Sabke dam seems to be the only dam with large body of untapped water sufficient for irrigation farming.

By its design, the dam’s treatment plant is rated for a production capacity of 6,000 cubic metre of water per day and 500 cubic metre of water capacity ground tank with several elevated storage tanks of varying capacities to be erected in surrounding villages.

Located within Maiadua and Dutsi local government areas of the state, it is believed among the residents that Sabke dam bank, occupying more than 1, 200 hectares of grass area, is developed enough for irrigated agriculture.

Other large dams in the state are located in Dutsin-Ma and Jibia.

Unarguably, farmers constitute more than 90 percent of the population of Katsina State where different crop varieties are grown.

It is blessed with three different ecologies capable of supporting cultivation of a range of crops such as tomato, pepper, millet, cowpea, groundnut, sesame and sweet potato, among others.

Tomato, pepper and onions are grown in many areas across the state even in dry season with irrigation in Fadama areas.

Survey carried out in the state indicates that tomato is cultivated in large quantity in Danja, Funtua, Bakori, Kaita, Maiadua, Daura, Sandamu, Kurfi, Malumfashi, Mashi, Mani, Batagarawa and DanMusa.

Also, pepper and onion are produced in Batagarawa, Mashi, Mani, Daura, Sandamu, Maiadua and Dutsi, while mango is cultivated across many local government areas in the state.

The major varieties grown in the state are UC82B, Roma, VF and UTC with UTC now taking the lead because of its hard coat and lesser moisture content than the other varieties.

In the light of this potential, some residents of the state have called on the state government to cite a factory in the bank of Sabke dam to process pepper and tomato that farmers in the areas cultivate in large quantity.

Farmers and merchants of tomato in Katsina State are also worried by the recent glut of tomato and pepper, noting that provision of a tomato processing plant in the area will prevent waste of the produce.

They argue that although tomato and pepper such as other vegetables are perishable in nature, locating a tomato/pepper processing plant around the farms will be profitable.

Malam Hamidu Sama’ila, a farmer in Maiadua, opined that the government should partner the private sector to set up local tomato processing factories for economic development of farmers along the dam’s bank.

He observed that a processing plant should have its own reliable source of raw material to succeed which he said Sabke dam bank has.

He observed that tomato/pepper farmers usually preserve the produce traditionally by drying it in the sun for future sales.

According to him, large fields in Kokami part of the state tomato market are reserved for drying the produce where hundreds of bags are packaged daily.

Worried about this, Malam Hamza Tsalha, a tomato farmer in Mairuwa, Faskari Local Government Area of the state, said the situation was discouraging as they recorded wastes of the produce on daily basis.

He said there was an influx of many farmers into tomato farming, calling on the state government to take advantage of it to establish tomato processing factory around the bank of the dam to create jobs and wealth.

“Government, especially now that it is giving agriculture its deserved priority, should partner with the private sector in the provision of tomato processing factories to preserve tomato being cultivated in large quantity in the areas,” he said.

Agriculturalists, however, opine that greenhouses are the best option to grow large amounts of the produce throughout the year which the large areas of Sake dam, a Federal Government project, presents.

In his opinion, Dr Khalil Oyetunde, an agriculturalist, suggested that other tomato collation centres could be established in the southern and central part of Katsina State to collate production from the other areas of the state.

According to him, since tomato farming has gradually grown beyond domestic consumption, all stakeholders should support every effort at boosting its production and preservation through setting up a processing plant where it is produced.

Observers, however, suggest that solar power as an alternative power source can be established as a backup as the Sabke area receives a large amount of sunshine throughout the year.

They observe that the areas of concentrated production of the produce are spread in the extreme northern and southern parts of the state.

In the light of this, concerned citizens of the state note that Sabke dam in Maiadua-Dutsi-Daura axis is suitable site for tomato processing factory as it is the only one of the large three dams with large body of untapped water.