29 November 2018

Sugarcane business booms in Plateau


About six youth age 16 to 23 years parked their wheelbarrows containing peeled bundles of sugarcanes along Katako Junction in Jos North local government area of Plateau state.
That’s their usual place of assemblage after they come back from sugarcane market in Farin Gada before they disperse to hawk the cane from street to street in the city of Jos.

On the wheelbarrows the sugarcane cut to size are arranged on the plank and tighten with black rubber bands in order to keep them together when the wheelbarrow was in motion. Each piece is sold for between N20 to N100, defending on the size.
The sugarcane sellers are all over the placwe along major roads, football fields, viewing centres and recreational centres among others places in the city.
Sugarcane is a source of sugar, which is obtained from its sweet sap.
These sellers as Daily Trust confirmed came to Jos for sugarcane business from neighbouring Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano and Jigawa states.
According to them one can start selling sugarcane in Jos if he has a minimum capital of N1, 400 after he gets wheelbarrow, plank to place on the wheelbarrow, rubber bands, bottle for spraying water on the sugarcane to prevent it from drying and a big white nylon for covering the sugarcane from flies.
The sellers mostly farmers are in the business to enable them get money to buy farm inputs for the next farming season, while others engage in the business to cater for their immediate needs.
Source noticed that the sugarcane sellers who usually arrive in Jos after harvesting their crops have now been experiencing a sales boom.
Daily Trust reporter, who visited the sugarcane market at Farin Gada and Kwanar Shagari both in Jos North Local Government Area observed that the dealers are making brisk business.
The Chairman of the sugarcane dealers in Farin Gada Market, Zaharaddeen Sani said the trade has provided a source of livelihood to hundreds of youths.
“Though it is seasonal, but the business is indeed a good and profitable venture because I make a living out of it,” he said.
Sani sold between 10 and 20 bundles of sugarcane daily, selling each bundle at the cost N1, 700.
Yusuf Ado, 17 who came from Wudil town of Kano state started the business last two years, but was able to take care of his needs and even went home with the sum of N100, 000 last year.
“I like the sugarcane business,” Ado said, “it is profitable, like today I bought one bundle of sugarcane at the sum of N1, 500, but out of it I can make extra N1, 600 as profit, last year I went home with sum of N100, 000, this excluding feeding and my transport fares,” he said.
Another sugarcane seller, Rilwanu Danyaya, 18, from Jigawa state was attracted to venture after he realized that the business is lucrative.
“The business is lucrative, if you are not lazy you would make a lot of money, like me on a normal day I do make N1, 300 or even more,” he said.
Danyaya who, after finishing primary school didn’t further his education, averagely makes a profit of N1, 000 and above from sugarcane sales daily.
He said, “My parents are poor and I cannot afford to go to school. I told myself I wouldn’t beg, now I can take care of my immediate needs and even help my parents.
“But if I would get a sponsor I want to further my education, I have a dream of becoming a medical doctor,” he said.
Magaji Hassan, 22 from Kaduna state, who started the sugarcane business three years ago, learnt the business from his elder brother who now abandoned the business to drive a taxi after he was able to save money and buy Vectra car.
“I started the business after I finished secondary school education, my elder brother introduced me to the business, he gave me his wheelbarrow and other things, and I am now enjoying the business.”
Press also gathered that most of the sugarcane traders are either out of school or have abandoned school as result of poverty. Many say they would go back to school they raise enough money or find sponsors
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