Thursday, October 27, 2011

Norma's Letter from Jos, 27 October 2011

Vegetable orders for Thursday 3 November
Thursday, October 27, 2011
From: Norma

Hello customers,

We are back on the farm after a few days in Zaria where we attended the funeral of my old friend, and also took time to inspect some farms that are possibilities for our eventual relocation. One in particular seems quite suitable, and the owners are interested in being partners with us. However, there are many issues to be worked out, and these are likely to take several months. So for the foreseeable future we will continue to operate from Jos, and do the best we can with what we have.

Despite opposition from some local authorities, we are proceeding with plans to bring back our former workers, as without them we will not be able to produce the quality of vegetables that we aim for. We have decided not to let these local issues impede the progress of our farm, and we will appeal to the military authorities for help if necessary. We are a Federal Government registered company and we strongly feel that no one should tell us who we can employ, as we employ workers purely on their merits not on ethnic or religious grounds. We expect that if some of these former workers come back, as they very much want to do, the quality and quantity of our produce will improve considerably as they have the knowledge and skills to take care of our young crops that need very careful nurturing.

The situation in Jos is now much more stable, with people moving around freely, unlike the case in recent times. Many Fulani pastoralists have come back, and are noticeable all around the local villages, which is good for us as the cow manure we rely on is now more easily available. The regional vegetable markets, which had been divided on religious lines for some time now, are back to normal, with all farmers attending, Local farmers, who had been afraid to come to markets, or even to cultivate fields far from their homes, are now starting to grow more produce, and bring them to markets as they used to do. Only in Kuru is there still opposition to former residents returning, and it seems to be an exceptional situation, obviously as a result of the tragedy of January 2010....

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