Those who believe that necessity is the mother of all invention are right when it comes to the issue of cultivation of cucumber, carrot and garden eggs. This is because, the three items which fall under vegetables and root crops and were usually grown in the north are now being cultivated in large quantities in Enugu and Ebonyi States in the eastern part of the country.
It would sound like a folk tale to hear that cucumber, carrot as well as garden eggs can now be grown in Uzo- Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State as well as at Onicha-Igboeze in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The farmers in the areas began to toy with the idea of planting both cucumber, onions, pepper and water- melon following the Boko Haram crises which had been rocking the northeast in particular and preventing northern farmers from transporting their food items to the south for maximum benefit.
The three items were previously believed to be exclusive harvests from the northern parts of the country but the story has now changed as they are being produced in large quantities at Opanda, Nimbo, and Adani in Uzo- Uwani just as an experimental farm in Onicha has proved that the food crops could be successfully cultivated. Cucumber can be cultivated about four times in a year as it takes only two months of planting to harvest while garden egg and red pepper are cultivated once yearly.
At the farm owned by the member representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Linus Okorie, cucumber, carrot, garden eggs, tomatoes, onions and various species of pepper and Okro have been harvested in a two hectare experimental farm. The idea, Okorie said is in line with the country’s plans to diversify Nigeria’s economy through agriculture, and as such he would go into large scale farming of the vegetables and crops. Okorie said that with the realization that such crops can grow in the south east, young people looking for wealth creation could explore the opportunity to become self-reliant and productive.
Presenting the crops from his farm, Okorie, who is the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions said, “Today would remain historic in our gambit at putting to practice the farming gospel. We harvested the first fruits of cucumber from our two hectare water-melon and cucumber demonstration farm.
“With it, we have been able to prove conclusively that cucumber not only grows in our localities, but very well too. In the weeks ahead, we hope to present evidence for eight other crops ranging from onions, tomatoes, various species of pepper, carrot and garden eggs to our regular Okra.
Our greatest satisfaction would be to see our youths and young graduates taking to this sure route for empowerment and economic freedom. Meanwhile, we have ample opportunities for fresh produce off-takers. Even you can apply on a first- come- first- served basis!” Vanguard