Maize scarcity in 2022 is becoming unavoidable, according to MAAN Chairman, Katsina State, Garba Lawal. The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) lost about 60 members to bandit attacks, while some farmers fled to urban areas to seek refuge.
Lawal said he received reports that the bandits set fire to the maize harvested by their members and waiting to be threshed alongside their farms.
However, he stated that due to a lack of water, his members will not engage in dry-season farming next year.
Lawal told the Nigerian Tribune exclusively that bandit activities have harmed farmers in eight local governments, resulting in the deaths of many and the fleeing of others from their farms.
“Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Dan Musa, Kankara, Faskari, Dandume, and Sabuwa, these local governments are located at the forest that borders Zamfara and Kaduna States,” Lawal said.
“Maize farmers in Katsina State have been affected by insecurity. This insecurity is a serious problem because most of our farmers live in rural areas and rely on farming for a living, and the insecurity has forced them to flee to the cities in search of safety.
“The bandits on the farms killed some of them who stayed behind to participate in the wet season farming this year.” About 60 of our members have been killed by bandits.
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“We’ve received reports that these bandits are now burning farmers’ maize on the field; the farmers harvested the maize, packed it together before threshing, and the bandits set fire to the farm.” He said, “I have my report on it, and we have videos and pictures of the incident.”
As a result of what happened in 2021, he believes farmers will be hesitant to return to farming in 2022, resulting in maize scarcity unless the government intervenes to keep farmers on their farms.
“Given what has happened this year, unless Allah comes to our rescue or the government does something to restore security, I am warning you that maize may be scarce next year.”
“As I previously stated, many farmers have died, and the number of people who have lost their produce on the farm is incalculable.
“How can you imagine a farmer who lost his produce after sweating for the entire year spending money to invest next year if he doesn’t have the assurance that his produce is secure?”
“You will find a household where a farmer, his wife, and some of his children were killed on the same day on their farm.
“Unless God comes to our rescue or we experience something different that we are hoping for, or unless the government makes some efforts to protect our farmers from being attacked by bandits,” he added, “this kind of situation will affect maize production in 2022.”