By Rabiu Sani
Toad sellers are recording high sales in Hadejia, Jigawa, due to the growing demand for the aquatic animals, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports.
Toad is an amphibian animal with a drier and less smooth skin that lives on land but breeds in water. It is a frog family with long back legs for jumping.
Toads are of different species and not all are eatable or good for human consumption, as some of it produced dangerous poison.
Although it is not on the popular menu in the north, but it is in high demand in some communities in central and southern parts of the country.
A NAN check at the Hadejia market showed that toad sellers were making brisk businesses due to a significant increase in the demand for the animals.
A big stick, which contains about 20 toads, was being sold for N1, 000 and a small size-stick with 10 toads attracts N450.
Traders at the market described the trade as lucrative in view of the growing market.
Alhaji Haruna Shuaibu, a dealer, said that he was making good sales due to the rise in the demand of toads.
Shuaibu explained that the demand had surpassed the supply, adding that the animals were very rare in the dry season.
“Toad trade is good; it attracted many people due to its lucrative nature.
“Buyers are coming to the market from other states to buy.
“They preferred dried toads, but some buy fresh ones,” he said.
According to him, traders at the market transport hundreds of sticks of toads to other parts of the country on weekly basis.
Zakari Hadi, a toad hunter, said that he was making between N2, 000 and N3, 000 from the sales of toads, adding that this enables him to meet his basic financial needs.
Hadi said that he used nets to trap and catch the toads, adding that the animals were available at ponds in the area.
He explained that toads are of different species, which were categorised into those that are poisonous and those that are edible.
He said toad hunting was hectic because it requires skills to enable one identify the type of toad to catch.
“We catch toads in waters and sometimes we dig them out from the mud on the river bank.
“The toads are arranged on a stick and spread in the open for days to dry,” he added.
Another trader, Mr Sam Akiboh, said that he used to come to the market from Benue to buy toads.
Akiboh said it was in high demand in his area due to its good taste and low price.
“I make about N20, 000 gains from the sales of toads weekly”.
Miss Phoebe John and Gabriel Tondo, who corroborated Akiboh, said they made good savings from toad’s trade.
They called on the government to adopt measures to encourage toad farming.
NAN reports that the Jigawa Government had in 2000 introduced commercial toad farming but the programme was abandoned by the successive administration.
The programme was designed to accelerate toad production for export, provided job opportunities and boost state’s revenue base.
Hadejia was selected as a pilot producing area due to the abundance of fish, toads and other aquatic species found in Hadejia River. (NAN)