The temporary shutdown of markets in Katsnia State as part of the strategies to contain the community spread of COVID – 19 is affecting the economy of rural dwellers, who are mostly farmers in the affected areas.
The affected markets include those in Mai’aduwa, Charanchi, Dankama, Bakori, Sheme and Dandume, that have buyers from almost all parts of the country.
Our correspondent in the state reports that because grains are the main produce in the affected markets, farmers from rural areas are usually involved in the economic activities of the markets every week.
Sani Umar Yankara said even though the measure taken by the state government was a child of necessity because one must be alive and healthy before thinking of any economic activity, they are feeling its impact.
“Besides buying and selling, many of our people are labourers in those markets, they partake in the menial aspect of the market activities to put food on their table. It is really hard among the rural dwellers here because everything has come to a standstill,’’ he said.
He added that the situation might affect the next farming season as peasants have no capital to invest in the season.
“Right now, there are farms for lease but people are not interested. Last year by now all farms were leased out to farmers and because of the manner in which some of us squandered our farm produce we cannot raise capital easily to produce especially in the case of maize and beans that require much money for fertiliser and pesticides,” he said.
Our correspondant observed that the closure of Dandume, Sheme and Bakori markets has opened a window of opportunity for Funtua market, which hitherto was not as big as the three closed ones.
Alhaji Iro Abdullahi, a maize dealer, said before the COVID – 19 pandemic, he hardly visited Funtua market, but that now, it is his last option in the zone.
“Because it was not one of the closed markets by the state government, Funtua grains market is now our economic base every Monday and Thursday. There are assorted grains and other products but not as much as in the other big markets of the state,” he said.