Nigeria: Plateau Women Make Earnings From Irish Potato

The partnership between Mastercard Foundation and IITA aims to enable 242,724 young Nigerian women and men to build skills and secure dignified and fulfilling work opportunities in the agrifood value chain over the next 5 years.
5 August 2020

Jos — Many women in Plateau State have been making considerable earnings from the cultivation and sales of Irish potato, which over the years has become the most cultivated crop on the plateau.

The state is known to be the highest producer of Irish potato and the farmers are known for consistency, determination and marketing.

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Interestingly also, women appear to have dominated farming in the state, including of Irish potato, and they have become their families' sustainers.

Some of the women who spoke to Daily Trust said through potato cultivation, they had been less dependent on their husbands and were training their children in schools, bought lands and built houses.

An Irish potato farmer who also sells the produce at Challenge Junction in Jos, the state capital, Mrs. Fatima Yakubu Williams, said she had been into potato farming and trading since 1994.

"Through potatoes I have trained my children in school. Many people from other states patronise me. Among the states I have customers are Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Abuja.

"We have different types of potato. A 25kg of the best brand goes for N15,000, another brand N12,000 and another N12,000."

Another woman, Mrs. Amina Christopher, said she built her house through the sales of Irish potato and that she catered for her children and other family members.

Mrs. Christopher who is a widow, said sometimes she sold in bags and that other times in paint rubber which cost between N800 and N1,000.

She further said, "I live in Nasarawa Gwom, and due to my flourishing Irish potato business, many women in my area have ventured into its cultivation and marketing."

She added that, "The most challenge faced in cultivating the produce is fertiliser. I am, therefore, calling on government to make it easy for the farmers to have access to fertiliser so that they can continue cultivating."

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