Food security: Nigerians groan as bandits target farmers

The rising destructive activity of bandits is putting Nigeria under a severe food security threat.

A new report has shown how farmers are abandoning their farms and taking up new jobs due to the fear of attacks by bandits. Apart from the security issue, environmental factors such as flooding are also threatening the country’s food sustainability.

Nigeria may be facing a severe food security crisis due to the destructive activities of bandits who are not only destroying farms but also killing farmers.

Investigation by Financial Street revealed how farmers are being killed by bandits, while those who are lucky to escape are forced to abandon their farms for other means of survival.

It also captured how a farmer in Katsina State, Abdullahi Wagini, was forced to abandon his farm after escaping an attack which left his neighbour dead and his cows stolen.

While the Coronavirus Disease is threatening food security and access to a reliable source of sustenance across the world, bandits are making the situation worse in Nigeria.

The report stated that while farmers in the northern region are being forced to abandon farming for new jobs, those who remain are increasingly having to contend with gangs seeking to extort money by taking people, lands and livestock for ransom.

“The security situation is not favourable,” said Wagini who is a retired government employee.

“We are heading towards famine and starvation,” Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello was also quoted to have said.

Financial Street learnt that banditry is also cutting production of rice, which is Nigeria’s most-consumed grain.
In Kebbi State, the country’s rice-growing hub, many farmers have stopped going to their fields for fear of attacks, another farmer, Rikotu Isha, said.

Overall, tens of thousands of hectares or arable land have been destroyed or rendered inaccessible, hundreds of thousands of cattle and sheep rustled, and markets disturbed.

The climate is another factor that is affecting Nigeria’s food insecurity. Warming temperatures have turned some green northern fields into a desert amid a shortage of water supply.

Lake Chad, the biggest irrigation source in the northern part of the country, shrunk by 90 per cent since the 1960s, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation.

“Flooding is another issue threatening Nigeria’s food security” the report stated.

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles