Maize farmers and merchants in Katsina State have expressed concern about a possible reduction in maize cultivation as a result of ongoing attacks by bandits in some parts of the state.
Kabir Ibrahim, national president of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria who is from Faskari, a maize- producing belt of the state currently being threatened by bandits, said most farmers in the area have abandoned their farms for safety.
Ibrahim noted that the relocation of farmers from some places such as including Sabuwa, Faskari, and Dandume, which representare the mainmean maize- producing areas within the state, would likely affect this year’s production.
Even still, the market price of farm produce in Katsina State has increased as buyers come from near and far to purchase goods in bulk following the relaxation of lockdown measures across the country.
Mika Yusuf, a farmer in Bakori Local Government Area, said growers were happy with the sudden change in market price because they would now have enough working capital to farm in the 2020 season.
Yusuf added that the price of a bag of maize has increased from N11,500 to N15,500 within the span of only one month.
Muntari Sani, a farmer in Danja Local Government Area, explained that the excitement of farmers over mounting prices would be temporary.
“If this continues, there is the tendency for maize to reach N20,000 between July and August. And after investing in our farms, how are we going to survive the over N400 cost of a measure of maize or sorghum in a period we are yet to harvest? Besides, not all farmers were able to store the produce till now. And we have a large chunk of non-farmers in urban areas struggling to eke out a living,’’ he said.