Home BUSINESS AGRICULTURE How Bandits, Kidnappers Chase Away Farmers From 60 Percent Of Northern Farmlands...

How Bandits, Kidnappers Chase Away Farmers From 60 Percent Of Northern Farmlands – Arewa Group

A northern socio-economic group, Arewa Economic Forum (AEF) has painted a sordid picture of how bandit, kidnappers and cattle rustlers have chased away farmers from no fewer than 60 percent of the northern arable land.
Chairman of the Forum, Ibrahim Shehu Dandakata, at a media briefing today, July 9, stressed the need for the government to embark on concerted effort to find urgent solution and combat food insecurity.
The chairman emphasised the need for a secure environment for cattle rearing to address the issues of banditry and cattle rustling, which contribute to protein shortages.
“Whether we like it or not, the issue of hunger is real, and this is undoubtedly linked to the insecurity in the North, which has resulted in the abandonment of 60% of arable land in the region for over five years.
“Consequently, the cost of protein has skyrocketed and cattle rustling, which has escalated to banditry, significantly contributes to the people’s ordeal. “Moreover, since crop farming and cattle rearing have been devastated by insecurity, it is imperative that all hands are on deck to overcome this situation.
“Although our solutions may not be exhaustive, they will undoubtedly pave the way forward. “Firstly, we must establish safe enclaves for cattle rearing. “Notably, the first victims of banditry are the Fulanis, with bandit-Fulanis victimizing non-bandit Fulanis who are legitimate pastoralists.
“Such safe enclaves, in the form of grazing reserves, will provide a haven for Fulanis, with the government offering necessary support, while also collaborating with the private sector and NGOs to ensure adequate security and prevent encroachment by foreigners.
“The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has a dedicated unit, the Agro Rangers, who have been performing well.
“However, our defense agencies are overstretched. By providing a secure enclave for farmers, we can ensure their safety and security.”
“Furthermore, regarding crop production, thousands of hectares lie fallow across northern Nigeria, and the solution lies in fully empowering the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) to fulfill its mandate.”
When asked about border opening as a solution for food sufficiency in the country, the chairman noted that any imports we require necessitate dollars, which are in short supply in Nigeria.
“As a non-producing nation, our demand for foreign exchange far exceeds the available supply.
“Therefore, even if the government permits importation, the necessary dollars are not available, making this solution untenable.
“While it might offer temporary relief, we must address the root causes at the grassroots level.”

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