The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabir Ibrahim, has said he has not visited his farm for two years due to banditry in the North-West region of the country.
Kabir disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with SaharaReporters about the adverse effects of worsening insecurity on farmers in the country.
According to him, the current security challenges, particularly in the North, have greatly affected the agricultural sector and taken a toll on food supply in the country. Ibrahim blamed the rising food prices on the insecurity situation that is preventing farmers from accessing their farms and even harvesting.
“People cannot go to their farms in the North because of banditry,” Ibrahim said. “People are being abducted and even killed on their farms. There are some that are not reported. We face banditry mostly in Katsina and Zamfara states. I live in Katsina. The last time I visited my farm was in 2018.”
He continued, “I have a 1,000-hectare farm here in Katsina which I have abandoned for two years. Bandits abduct high profile people for money so I don’t go there. I also told my workers to stay away from the farm.”
Giving an estimate of how much the situation has cost him in the last 24 months that he has forsaken his farm, Ibrahim said, “In Nigeria, we give unrealistic figures, but going by the grain crops that I plant on my farm which are maize, sorghum and millet, let’s say like N36 million annually. I have to adapt to play safe, so I focus on animal husbandry. I rear livestock in an enclosed environment.”
He also talked about the efforts of the security operatives in ensuring the safety of farmers in the North, saying, “In the North-East, there is a combination of security operatives, including army and community vigilantes that escort farmers to work on their farms. I am not sure if they (farmers) are paying them. It will be foolhardy to say farmers are paying them. I don’t want to say things that I’m not sure of.
“I cannot give you facts and figures, but I can tell you that this insecurity has forced farmers away from the farms, and generally it is affecting food security in the nation.”