Northern Farmers Lament Over Incessant Terrorist Attacks;Warn Of Food Shortage

Northern Farmers Lament Over Incessant Terrorist Attacks;Warn Of Food Shortage

Some northern farmers have lamented continued attacks by terrorists, forcing them to abandon their farms.

According to them, if the attacks linger, food production would be affected and a food crisis may hit the country soon.

Isa Yakubu and Moshood Tsaku, both farmers in Kurgwi village, in Qua’an-Pan Local Government of Plateau States in separate interviews with Saturday PUNCH, said going to the farm had now become like going to war, as farmers were no longer certain of their security.

Yakubu said, “I am afraid of going to my farm. I have stopped my wives and younger children from joining me to farm, in case there is a cause for us to run.

“Before now, I used to go to the farm at 4am during the planting season, but now, I have to wait for the sun to come out before going out, for fear of attacks. One cannot be too careful.”

Similarly, Tsaku, who said he had once survived a terrorist’s attack on his farm, said he had developed cold feet towards farming.

“I was in Benue, working on my uncle’s farm when these men (attackers) came in and slaughtered farmers. My uncle and I escaped by the whiskers, but we lost a relative to the attack. I will not risk my life again as I am back in Kurgwi. I will stay in my house and manage whatever I get. I am not afraid of them, but I am just being careful as I am not one to go about daring trouble”

Another farmer in Benue, Shaibu Idah, “You know since 2019, it has been a serious issue here in Benue. The herdsmen, bandits and other criminals attack us every single day. I have injuries to show for this, so it is not a joke. I go to the farm with my own weapon and I am prepared for anything.

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“But since we go to the farm late and come back early, we certainly will not produce as much as we would have.

“This planting season now, I should be looking at cultivating over five hectares of land for yam cultivation and a few more hectares for other crops, but as I speak to you, I am struggling to finish one. My workers have refused to even go to the farm with me. It is as if I am doing subsistence farming.”

A Forbes report on Monday titled, ‘In Nigeria, Banditry has become a Major Threat to Food Security’ ,noted that unprecedented rise in insecurity had displaced farming communities and hindered cultivation.

The report said, “At a national level, since July 2020, staples such as beans and tomatoes have seen a 253 per cent and 123 per cent surge in prices, respectively.

“In Borno State, previously the largest wheat-producing state in the country, producing 30 per cent of Nigeria’s wheat, the activities of insurgents popularly known as Boko Haram have stalled the cultivation of over 400 hectares of wheat in the area, as well as in other states in the northeast of the country.”

Source:- Punch Ng

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