Home Breaking News Insecurity threatens N20b agric investments | The Nation

Insecurity threatens N20b agric investments | The Nation

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By Daniel Essiet

Growing insecurity is threatening more than N20 billion agricultural investments in most parts of the country, The Nation learnt.

Major agricultural investments are located in Kaduna, Niger, Borno, Zamfara, Benue, Nassarawa and Oyo states.They have suffered an unprecedented attacks on farms by bandits and herdsmen may have that has resulted in $8.5 billion in crop and livestock losses.

Farmers in the North pay bandits thousands of naira yearly as tax and harvest fees before they can have access to their farms and avoid being abducted.

It was learnt that insecurity has prevented food production, displaced communities and disrupted markets in Kaduna, Niger and Kebbi states. Communities are confronting sporadic attacks as bandits rob farmers of their homes and livelihoods.

The crisis has led to high food prices. Sacks of staple foods such as sorghum, maize and wheat flour have increased. Escalating insecurity has led to the killing of farmers, forcing thousands of people to flee and disrupting planting for farmers.

The founder, Brote Urban Vegetable, Innocent Mokidi, fears the country could face food shortages as prices climb and insecurity, destroy people’s ability to farm.

Suspected bandits killed at least 12 farmers and injured nine others in attacks on two communities in Gusau Local Government Area (LGA), Zamfara State, last month.

Niji Foods, located in Oyo State, is one of the leading players in the agriculture value chain.  The farm has suffered attacks.

Speaking with The Nation, the Chief Executive, Niji Farms, the largest cassava farm in the country, Kola Adeniji warned that insecurity was threatening t agric investment and urged the government to provide security agencies with the necessary support to deal with insecurity.

His words: “In my farm, I have increased the security to 30 people. Despite this they still come to ravage the farm. The challenge of fighting attacks on farms is huge. We usually close work at the farm at 6 pm. Now we are closing by 4pm. We use to resume early in the morning. We cannot do that now. We have reduced working hours.”

Niji noted that recurring attacks in farms were crippling the food security and livelihoods of farmers.

He was concerned it was halting farming, and could slash harvests for the rest of the year as well as depriving communities of livestock as a source of nutrition.

At the height of the main planting season, he added that insecurity prevented farmers from going to their fields to cultivate food crops.

 

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