Why I Am Called Baba Cucumber – Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State

​While speaking during a Channels television programme called Hard Copy, anchored by Maupe Ogun at the weekend, the Governor of Taraba State, Darius Dickson Ishaku, said that he is happy to be mockingly referred to as the “cucumber governor, or Baba Cucumber.”

According to The Nation , he disclosed that he earned the name “Baba Cucumber” as a result of his huge developmental efforts in the agricultural sector, through the Green House project which was commissioned alongside other projects by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on August 24.

The governor said in his efforts to develop the agricultural sector in Taraba State, his administration established the Green House, the first ever in Nigeria’s north-eastern region worth over N2 billion.

The Green House, according to the governor, produces high quality vegetables such as tomato, lettuce, pepper, cabbage and cucumber that have met the international standard.

Narrating why his administration ventured into the project, he said: “Prior to the establishment of the Green House, vegetables, with low quality, were imported into the country from South Africa. As a result of this development, the idea of the Green House was actualised.”

On whether the Green House is worth the colossal amount and whether it has direct impact on the people, Ishaku said the project has been a huge success in Taraba State, because, apart from offering an all-year round high quality vegetables in commercial quantity, it has employed 500 persons and improved the Internal Revenue Generation (IRG) of the State.

He explained further that the previous regime shared about N2 billion to farmers as agric loan, but the beneficiaries refused to redeem their pledge, which is why instead of sharing money in the form of loan to farmers and making the same mistake, he used the money to establish the Green House.

“I met a very bad example. The past regime took almost N2billion and shared to farmers as agricultural loan. Now, not up to one-quarter redeemed the pledge. They saw the money as a free gift from the government.

“Even from the one-quarter we recovered, I had to set up a committee to go after them. And now, with that experience, if you receive another N2 billion, will you repeat the same mistake that was done by the past government? No.

“I decided that simple vegetables like tomato, pepper and cucumber among others, which were hitherto imported, be produced here. I decided to venture into the Green House project, and it has been a huge success.

“Most of our Green House produce have found their ways into various markets and I have earned the name Baba Cucumber.”

He added that, besides the Green House, his administration is aiding farmers through the provision of fertilizer, agricultural inputs and in terms of guarding them.

“14,700 farmers were aided to venture into dry season rice cultivation and they harvested very good yields; they are now happy and they want to do it this year again,” said the governor.


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