The leadership of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in the North-West states has predicted bumper harvest due to the improved security situation and the provision of inputs.
AFAN chairmen in some of the states made this prediction known on Wednesday on a survey on the impact of newly harvested produce on the prices of foodstuffs.
Alhaji Nasiru Sani-Jaji who is the AFAN Secretary in Zamfara, recalled that farmers had not been able to cultivate their farms for three years due to the fragile security situation in the state.
“Since 2011, we have been facing low productivity of farm produce due to security challenges, especially in the affected local government areas. Farmers were unable to cultivate over 15,000 hectares across the state in 2016 due to security concerns.’’
According to him, the settling up of a peace and reconciliation committee headed by the Deputy Gov. Alhaji Ibrahim Wakala, which dialogued with the bandits and cattle rustlers, helped to alleviate the situation.
“With this development, we are now recording improvement in this regard, which has also resulted to increased food production. Most of the local government areas affected by insecurity are the areas where we have high productivity.”
Sani-Jaji also noted that the provision of subsidised fertiliser and other inputs by the state and Federal Government, boosted food production.
“You known the Federal Government sold fertilizer at N5000 per bag and the state government also made similar gesture to our farmers across the state. Honestly, these support have assisted our farmers, especially small and middle class farmers, even though the fertilizer came late.
“We have a large number of farmers and majority of them needed government support to increase their productivity. Even though we have not fully entered harvest season, some crops like millet are already ripe for harvest.
“Other crops like maize, Guinea corn, rice, beans, and soya beans, among others, have are yet to mature, but despite this, we have started seeing changes in the price of foodstuff.
“Before now, a measure of millet was being sold at between N500 and N600 but now it is sold at between N250 and N300.’’
Sani-Jaji predicted that the price of commodities would drop by 40 per cent when the harvest season commenced.
A farmer, Musa Shehu, said he was unable to harvest his farm for three years in Dansadau, Maru Local Government due to security problems.
“We are happy with this peace and reconciliation committee set up by the state government and the success recorded by security operatives in fighting criminal activities not only in Zamfara but also across the nation in general,” Shehu said.
He urged all stakeholders to support government in maintaining peace and stability in the state.
In Kano State, AFAN is also predicting bumper harvest especially in soya beans, rice and maize this cropping season.
The state AFAN Chairman, Alhaji Faruk Rabi’u, said that most of the crops planted had grown very well and started maturing.
“The crops being produced on a large scale in Kano state include maize, sorghum, rice, soya beans, millet and groundnut. The only crop that is being harvested now is rice while the rest are still under maturing stages.’’