food security- Bandits Kill 60 Maize Farmers In Katsina
Maize scarcity in 2022 is becoming unavoidable as the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) lost about 60 members to bandit attack while some of the farmers fled to the urban areas to seek refuge, MAAN Chairman, Katsina State, Garba Lawal has said.
Lawal said that he got reports that the maize harvested by their members awaiting threshing was set ablaze by the bandits alongside their farms.
He said however his members will not embark on next year’s dry season farming because of insufficient water supply.
Speaking exclusively with Nigerian Tribune, Lawal said farmers about eight local governments have been greatly affected by the activities of bandits which have led to the death of many and others fleeing their farms.
“Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Dan Musa, Kankara, Faskari, Dandume and Sabuwa, these local governments are located at the forest which borders Zamfara and Kaduna State,” Lawal said while listing the local governments under attack.
“Insecurity has affected maize farmers in Katsina State. This insecurity is a serious issue because most of our farmers here live in rural areas and their livelihood is on farming and this insecurity has made them flee from the rural areas to the urban areas to seek refuge.
“Some of them that stayed behind to participate in the wet season farming this year were killed by the bandits on the farms. Our members who were killed by bandits are about 60.
“Even now, we have got some reports that these bandits are now burning farmers’ maize on the field, the farmers harvested the maize, packed them together before threshing, the bandits set the farm on fire. I have my report on that, we have videos and pictures of the incident,” he said.
He, therefore, said considering what happened in 2021, farmers may be reluctant to go back to farm in 2022 which may lead to maize scarcity unless the government intervenes and secure farmers on their farms.
“Considering what has happened this year, except otherwise Allah comes to our rescue or the government does something which will restore back security, I am telling you that next year, there may be a scarcity of maize.
“Like I said, many farmers have lost their lives, and if you are going to look at those who lost their produce on the farm, they are countless.
“So, any farmer that lost his produce after sweating for the whole year, how can you imagine that next year that he will spend money to invest when he doesn’t have the assurance that his produce is secure.
“Many of our farmers are being chased away from the farm, you will find a household where a farmer, his wife and some of his children were killed on the same day on their farm.
“This kind of situation will affect the production of maize in 2022 unless God comes to our rescue or we experience something different which we are hoping for or if the government makes some efforts to protect our farmers from being attacked by bandits,” he added.