Maiduguri – Some farmers in Maiduguri say they expect bumper harvest this cropping season, in spite of the Boko Haram insurgents’ attacks.
They also expressed joy over abundant rainfall recorded so far in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that thousands of farmers have
cultivated their farmlands in Maiduguri and other liberated communities in the state.
However, the insurgents had recently killed
two tractor drivers, three farmers and abducted another, while
working on their farms on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
A cross section of the farmers told NAN in separate interviews in
Maiduguri and Konduga that they were happy to return to their farms
in spite of the incessant attacks by the insurgents.
Buba Idris said he was anticipating bumper harvest this
planting season in view of the volume of rainfall and favourable weather condition in the area.
Idris said that he had cultivated rice at the Konduga rice plantation and
expressed hope for a bumper harvest.
“I am happy now that I have returned to my farm after I abandoned it for
many years due to the insurgency.
“We recorded appreciable level of rainfall and no pests’ infestation.
“The only problem is the insurgents who attack farmers,” he said.
Miss Halima Kachalla, a beans grower, said that she planted beans and
peanut on her farm at Dalori village in Konduga Local Government Area.
Kachalla said she engaged labourers to manage the plantation,
adding that she often visited the farm in defiance of the insurgents’ threat.
“The crops are doing well and we are hoping to get high yields at harvest”.
Another farmer, Modu Audu, said that he was preparing to harvest his
crops at a farm in Jekete village of Konduga local government area.
Audu, who is still taking shelter at an Internally Displaced Persons
(IDPs) camp in Konduga, added that he usually visited the farm during
“My village is deserted and I get bored of staying idle.
“Farmers can only work on the farms during the day for fear of the insurgents.
“I planted millet and sorghum, and in few weeks to come I will be
harvesting my crops,” he said.
However, Yusuf Makinta expressed concern over high cost of
fertilisers, seeds and other inputs.
Makinta said that most farmers could not return to the farm due to
exorbitant prices of the inputs.
He said that a bag of fertiliser was sold for between N8, 500 and
N10, 000, while a measure of bean seeds sold at N1, 200.
“A lot of people wanted to return to the farms but they are
constraints due high cost of fertilisers,” he said.
The state Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources , Alhaji Muhammad Dilli,
disclosed that the state government had spent over N700 million on procurement and distribution of fertilisers, seeds and chemicals for displaced farmers.
Dilli also said that the government had procured 15,000 tones of
fertilisers and improved seeds such as maize, rice and cowpea for
distribution to farmers.
“We also procured 84 units of sprinkler rice engagement plant and one
million cashew seeds to encourage cash crops Production.
“The state government has so far distributed 95 large tractors to farmers
at subsidised rate, in addition to the construction of 17 earth dams
in liberated Communities.
“The government also procured modern farm implements such as plough,
Harrow, cultivators, harvesters and other inputs,” he said.
Dilli noted that the gesture was to assist displaced farmers and
encourage them to go back to the farms.