Rice farmers want increased security for dry season farming

Rice farmers want increased
FILE PHOTO: Rice farmers

A group of rice farmers, whose harvest was recently burnt down by Boko Haram insurgents have called for more security in the area as they prepare for dry season farming.

Hundreds of hectares of rice farms were completely razed down at Koshebe village in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State on December 1 by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.

The destruction was reported by Kanem Trust.

In an interview with Kanem Trust Malam Hassan Zabalmari, the Chairman of the Farmers Association in the area, called for the deployment of additional troops and security personnel, to enable them engage in dry season activities.

Zabalamari described the call as imperative to protect farmers, encourage agriculture activities and enhance food security.

Zabalmari is a farming community located about 10 kilometres away from Maiduguri.

A group of the farmers interviewed by Kanem Trust recalled that the insurgents attacked the farmlands on Dec. 1, ravaged the plantations and set harvested crops ablaze.

One of the farmers,  Alhaji Bello, said the insurgents burnt to ashes crops harvested from his 18-acre farmland.

Bello said that he had harvested his crop and left it at the farm in preparation for final evacuation to the mill when the insurgents attacked and destroyed it.

He recounted that the insurgents attacked the farms at about 5:30 pm; after the farmers left for home.

“I produced 250 bags of paddy rice in the same 18 acres of farmlands during the previous rainy season. I also recorded high yields this season.

“The insurgents burnt the produce and destroyed the farm,” he said.

Adamu Usman, who corroborated Bello, described the damaged as colossal, adding that over 100 rice farmers lost their produce in the attack.

Usman added that he had cultivated rice and harvested 360 bags of the produce, lamenting that he and other farmers lost their investment in the attack.

Another farmer, Sidi Ibrahim, alleged that the insurgents had intensified attacks on farmers and killed many of them during the last cropping season.

“We go to the farms under military and vigilante escort. The troops escort and waited throughout the day to enable us work in the farms. After we finished work in the farms they escort us back to our homes in Zabalamari.

“We are thankful to them because without their protection we could not cultivate our farmlands.

“The insurgents attacked from the axis of the deserted Dannari village, which is a distance of about five kilomentres from Koshebe plantations,” he said.

Some of the crops cultivated in the area include rice, wheat, water melon, onions and vegetables.

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