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DAILY TRUST

24

Monday, May 16, 201 1

Business/ Agric -

Post election violence:

Farmers count losses The conflict that followed the presidential election took an economic dimension when farmers and their farms were attacked. Thousands of cattle and sheep were wasted, and experts say agriculture was the biggest victim. PIX: AFOLABI SOTUNDE

By Jibrin Abubakar

T

H EAprilgeneraielections resulted in general losses for farmers. Conceivably, the biggest losers are the innocent poultry and livestock farmers; as well as marketers and transpo rters offarm produce. According to report made available to Daily Tm st by Admiral Environmental Care, the agricultural sector lost about N554million worth of produce in the four-d ay post election conflict in the Northern part of Nigeria. This is coming as the Fulanis in Kaduna State under the Mobgal Fulbe Development Association raised alarm that 11 5 oftheir kinsme n in the southern part of the state were still missing in the crisis that followed the presidentialpoll . . ' According to the report by the group, 264 ful anis were killed, 256,042 were displaced, 5,9 18 houses were destroyed in 18 villages, 2,185 cattle and 152 sheep were killed. It says 1,345 cattle are still missing in the southern part ofKaduna. In the same vein, Hajia Rabi AbdulSalam, owner of the Fasarid ramid farms told th is paper that the perpetrators of the crisis have no conscience and are godless. In art interview with Daily

Trust, she says 2,000 chickens (layers) we re killed at her Fasarid Ramid farms located at Maraban Ridoin Kaduna state. She says two- bedroom bun galow, an oil mill building and a power generating plant in the farm were burnt down. One of her workers was also shot, though he survived it. The attackers seemed to have planned it ahead, she feared. Executive Director of the Admiral Environmel)tal Care Mr. Shedrack Madlion told Daily Trust that the value of destruction on the agricultural sector is put conservatively at N554million, even as farmers still count losses

lost in the four days of mayhem in the Northern part of Nigeria. The navigational points of farm produce are the South-west and the South-east. In the North, the product must be harvested and prepared to leave the farm gates. That movement of farmers, the transporters and the middlemen was restricted in four days.' "The hatchers of day old chicks could not deliver to those who have booked in advance. Fishermen could not go to the pond to feed the fish. What it takes you to

What happened was a complete disaster to humanity, to nature and to agric ulture:' Asked about the authen ticity of the financial quantification of

SummarY

N554mi1"",iio..... n__

while ma ny other farm losses may not have been captured by the survey due to logistic problem. In an interview, he says: "It was

a terrible thing that happened to the agricultural sector in four days. A total ofN554million was

gain in eight months was lost in two four days. Livestock farme rs who their livestock delive red had no access to the marke t to buy vaccinat ion for their cows. Don't forget that 68.8% of Nigerian farm ers are subsistence farmers.

A tomato truck skidded off the ro~ d.

the losses in the agricultu ral sector, he says: "The research and statistics department of the Admiral Environmental Care went ro und Saminaka where the maize is

coming out from; they we nt to Gombe where 67% of Nigeria's vegetable comes from. We Continued Oil page 25


DAILY TRUST

25

Monday,May16,2011

-Business/Agric Postelection violence:

armers count losses Continued from page 24

went to Alkaleri in Bauchi State where the water melon comes from. We were in Kunf in

Kano State where all year round farming is done. "We were in Kebbi State for the onions. The price of onions went

up to N67, 000. Our brothers and sisters in lbadan and Lagos were

using cabbage. It was N20, 000 a bag but within these four days, it shot up to N67, 000 and more than that. Above all the tomato trucks that were leaving the North on the first day of the violence were burnt down at Goni Gora in Kadu na State. The biggest mayhem took place in Kafanchan. The region is popular for its good honey and ginger. The conflict affected the production of these products. "Don't forget that the Fulanis were beginning (0 move th e cattle

from the south to the north, and were cut up in the middle. More than 27,000 cattle belonging to different ardos and wakilin dabbob is were killed between Kargarko, Kwoi, Jaba and Kafanchan. Farmers were also shot, either directly, accidental discharge or stray bullets. nquan ti fiable lives were also lost. We have also looked at cost of vehicles that were burnt down. You must be aware that 29 %of maize that is

U

consumed in Nigeria comes from

Birnin Gwari and Saminaka. The 981 cattle that leave for Lagos from Gashua could not find their way there. The 481 goats that are slaughtered for consumption were no t there in the south. Subsistence

farmers we re locked up in their houses. The baskets that leave Ebonyi State to come to Kura in

1\ c~r '~rryin9 bags offQodslufh puri ng the violence in K~du"a . Kana State could not come. "Twenty six trucks of agriC ultural produce were burnt 00 their way to Kaduna. This estimation is an average or minimum esti{113tion beca.use we do not have the required logistic to go round and get enough data. It is not my duty, but probably the duty of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) as well as t~ew panel set up by the governm~nt. The

point made here is that as the . federal government looks at the human loss and matenalloss. they should first compensate the farmers, because jf the farmers cannot retu rn to farm, then there is no future for Nigeria:' He calls on tne investigative panel not to only focus on human losses, but should also look into environmental losses, which would include the agricultural sector. He also calls for the inclu-

. sian offarmers as members of the panel. Meanwhile he chided the kid glove with which the government handles agriculture, sa}~ng the sector is in ruins unless government wades into action. e says: "As I talk to you, the prices of food stuff have gone up by about 17%. There is a need for the government to work with the private sector like us to find a way out of this in orderto bridge the losses and product deficit that may lead to further rise in prices. There is a need ip this respect. to bring in regional integrated vegetation forum. "There is a total slow-down indeed. But we want tu believe that the incoming government will bring in good managers of agriculture. And stop paying lip services to it. Farming is not attractive in Nigeria. As I speak to you there is 26% declining in the population of the aging farmers in agriculture. It is not aUractiveatall. "There are no certifications of when we need to pull out our old herbicides from the shelves. Fer-

路 H

tilizers are not delivered to farm -

ers as at when due. Today, fertilizers have not been delivered in Kaduna and the raining season is here already. Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder if the Northern youth are not channeled toward agricultural purposes. ''Any nation that does not put

12% of its budget into agricu lture is bound to lose its sover-

eignty. 67% of our food is being imported. The CBN just told Nigerians that the country spent $IOOmillion in 2010 in theimportation of rice whereas we have 14 regions in Nigeria that can grow

enough rice. Don't forget that 27 per cent of the rice imported into Nigeria is expired rice and we eat them. "The problem is because of the Single problem of stoning in OUf rice, the Nigerian house wife today is used to foreign rice that they don't need to wash twice. The quality of lice we eat in Nigeria is not commensurate with the quality of rice eaten in countries such as Cambodia, MalaYSia and Algeria. We must go back to the promotion of one community, one

product. "Our preSident is a zoologist and so he unde rstands science and he knows that agriculture is science and that no nation survives on rain fed agriculture. I am calling on Mr. President to start having face-to-face with farmers. This is what brought Malaysia to where it is today. "The king of Thailand is the preSident of rice farmers association of that country. 1 do not see anything wrong with President Jonathan becoming the chairman of farmers association of this country.. "Therefore farmers should be compensated because when 路you lose these fa rmers, young farm ers are not going to come."


DAILY TRUST, 16 MAY, 2011  

Farmers count losses

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