climate change : Adamawa farmers bemoans low harvest
Rebecca Mu’azu, Yola
Religious leaders in Ganye, Adamawa State, North-East Nigeria, have called on farmers not to sell off their farm produce, because of low harvest, due to the effect of dryness during the cropping season this year.
Representatives of both Christians and Muslims in Ganye, the Food Basket of Adamawa, are concerned about the effect of climate change on food production this year, as records of harvest indicate that only one-quarter of farm produce from previous years was achieved.
Ganye Local Government Area is considered the Food Basket of Adamawa State, because of the number of grains of maize, rice, guinea corn, beans, as well as tubers of yam produced in the area, with trucks of farm produce transported on a daily basis.
However, this year, things have changed drastically, with the negative impact of climate change taking its toll on farms, with just a quarter of what was previously obtained in the area.
Farmers have attributed the development to the long span of dryness, which occurred at the onset of rains this year, which completely destroyed farms or had left them with tiny seeds that do not amount to anything.
In some places, farmers had to clear their lands all over and replant the seeds again.
Also, some farms are harvested at night by thieves while some farmers had to repay loans they collected during the farming season, in anticipation of a good yield and paying off after a good harvest.
Consequently, with the negative turn of events, farmers and indeed families are left with almost nothing to fall back unto.
This led to the sensitization of the public by the relevant stakeholders through awareness creation, to ensure that food still remained on the table for families to feed on.
For the Bishop of Bonotem Diocese in the Ganye Chiefdom, Bishop Jediel Momsisuri Nyenbenso, the farming season this year has been a very difficult one, because contrary to what he used to harvest in the previous years, he could not get up to a half of the bags rice, maize and beans he got last year.
Bishop Nyenbenso said the time had become critical and that he used every given opportunity to enlighten the people on the dangers of selling off-farm produce in view of the impending food challenge that may befall the people next year.
“Great signs are there of hunger next year. I am not a prophet, but I have been telling my members here in the Bonotem Diocese wherever I go, whether at weddings, burials or any other for os ceremony. When I am there, I always talk about this, advising people to be very careful with their food. Selling food anyhow is no longer advisable. So, they must be very careful with their food, maize, beans, rice and all the things we have been farming here in Chambaland. We have to be very careful with them,” said Bishop Nyenbenso.
For the Chairman of the Muslim Council, Ganye, Aldulkadir Hammanjabbo, this year’s rainy season has been very bad, unlike previous years, where farmers get a bumper harvest, farmers are crying.
Mr. Hammanjabbo cited instances where a farmer would cut the rice crop, lay them in piles for the harvest proper the following day, only to meet the hay with the rice carted away.
He, as the Chairman of the Muslim Council in Ganye, said the council had been moving around mosques in districts and creating the necessary awareness for people to guard their foodstuff and not fall into the temptation of selling off their foodstuff in the name of solving one problem or the other.
“God forbid, otherwise, next year is going to be terrible. Because as it is, despite having a good yield last year, we suffered a great deal this year. Then how is it going to be next year? As of this Saturday, which is the market day, a bag of maize is almost N20, 000. It was 17 thousand on Saturday, November 27, which is giving the signal that next year will be terrible,” Mr. Hammanjabbo said.
The representatives of both Christianity and Islam also called for prayers to God to avert any form of hunger in the land, calling for special prayers and fasting to avert such dangers.