Soya beans farmers in the North say market for the produce shows huge prospects this year.
Factories that are into oil, animal feeds, milk, yoghurt and seasoning production rely on soya beans as their main raw material.
Those who spoke to Daily Trust also expressed optimism on recording bumper harvests.
It is presently common to see farmers thrashing the pulse even beside major highways in the producing states of Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna among other places.
Alhaji Bala Mande, who spoke with Daily Trust in a farm belonging to him and his elder brother, said they had already harvested 50 bags from two of their four soya beans farms in Tsafe village, Zamfara State.
“Last year, we got just 40 bags, but the harvest is better this year as we are likely to get between 90 and 110 bags by the time we finish the harvest,” Mande said.
He said they employed over 20 people to help them with the harvesting and spent over N15,000 on their wages daily.
Speaking on the price of soya beans, Alhaji Mande said it was far better this year compared to what they got last year. He said the price is now N14,000 per 100kg and might rise from May to September when farmers might have sold all their farm produce.
Last year, the produce sold at N7,000 to N8,000 per 100kg during peak harvest when farmers flooded the market with it. However, the situation is different at the moment as a 100kg bag goes from N12, 500 to N14,000 and even higher in some parts of the country.
“I wish the price goes up to N25,000,” Alhaji Mande said with a smile.
In Katsina, soya beans farmers are making brisk business due to the growing market demand for the produce by processing companies.
Import restrictions placed by the federal government on some commodities including edible oil, has led to the recent proliferation of local processing factories in the country to assuage the shortage and high cost of foreign oil.
One of the farmers in Danja LGA, Alhaji Mansur Abdullahi, said though almost every farm produce has high value this year, soya beans has a bright prospect going by the demand for it.
“Factories that are into oil, animal feed, milk, yoghurt and seasoning rely on soya beans as their main raw material. That is what makes the demand high, especially this year that we have new crop of middle men who buy the produce in large quantities, stockpile it in their stores and later on sell it to the processing factories,” Alhaji Mansur said.
He added that agents of both the processing factories and the middlemen were seen in the markets at Sheme, Dandume, Sabuwa, Bakori, and Kafur among others buying up soya beans brought by farmers.
He further explained that in the past two years, 100Kg of soya beans was sold at between N7,000 to N8,000 at the peak of its harvest period but that this year, it sells at between N13,000 and N14,000, a situation that indicated that in the next five months the price of the crop might reach N20,000 per 100kg.
Another farmer, Malam Danlami Tsangamawa, said he realised N325,000 from 25 bags of soya beans he cultivated this year which he sold at N13,000 each bag.
“This year is indeed the year of farmers as there is no farm produce that has no value in the market, most especially soya beans. Last year, I made just N218,400 from 28 bags that I sold at N7,800 each, but this year, I made N325,000 from just 25 bags I cultivated with each bag sold at N13,000.
“Those that stored their produce for future sale have better chances of making more money than us as the demand continues to soar,” Malam Danlami said.