Bauchi hibiscus farmers produced over 1 million metric tons in 2023
Hibiscus Farmers Processors Marketers Exporters Association of Nigeria (HFPMEAN) Bauchi State, says over one million metric tons of hibiscus flowers were produced in the 2023 farming season across the state.
The Chairman of the association, Alhaji Mustapha Shehu, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Bauchi.
He said hibiscus farming in the state is fast gaining momentum, saying an estimated 1.2 million metric tons was produced in 2023 compared to production of 600,000 metric tons in 2022.
“Farmers are now abandoning growing other crops for hibiscus while existing growers are expanding their production areas as the price of the flower has almost doubled.
“With the current market price of N18,000 per bag , while a kilo is sold at N1000, hibiscus farmers are making good sales of their products in the markets.
“The prices per ton have almost doubled and this is making farmers grow more of the crop,” he said.
According to him, hibiscus is now competing with other crops because farmers admit that hibiscus is also an exported crop and gaining ground in the world market.
“The flower grows nearly throughout the year, though its peak production is during the dry season of November to April in the state,” the chairman said.
He added that hibiscus is grown during the normal regular planting season, hence, once the rain starts, the planting season for the crop starts.
Shehu explained that hibiscus is a versatile crop used for the popular ‘Zobo’ drink that could also be made for a list of other by-products.
“Hibiscus jellies, jams, fruit pastes, traditional medicines, teas, syrups and refreshing drinks can be found in almost every market stall in Africa,” he said.
The chairman, however, said that challenges facing hibiscus production remained poor planting seeds which culminated in low yields and access to extension service,
“Lack of incentives to farmers, lack of security, and government lukewarm attitude to farming among others, also affects the production,” he said.
Shehu said there was need for farmers to be trained on good handling practice, modern farming techniques and technology.
He called on government to address the issue of improved seeds, modern equipment, fertilizers and other necessary support for the growers to expand production.