- 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.
A report by Bloomberg captures how farmers are being killed by bandits while those who are lucky to escape are forced to abandon their farms and look for other means of survival.
The financial news media highlighted how a farmer in Katsina state, Abdullahi Hassan Wagini, was forced to abandon his farm after his escape from a bandit attack which left his neighbour dead and his cows stolen.
While Covid-19 is threatening food security, access to a reliable source of sustenance for a population, across the world, bandits attacks are making the situation worse in Nigeria.
Bloomberg stated that while farmers in the northern regions are being forced to abandon farming and take up new jobs, those who remain are increasingly having to contend with gangs seeking to extort money by holding people, land and livestock for ransom.
“The security situation is not favourable,” said Wagini who is a retired government employee.
“We are heading toward famine and starvation,” Niger state Governor Abubakar Sani Bello was also quoted to have said.
Legit.ng learns that the 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 has been destroyed or rendered inaccessible, hundreds of thousands of cattle and sheep rustled, and markets disturbed.
Apart from security, climate factor is another affecting Nigeria's food insecurity.
Warming temperatures have also turned some once green northern fields into a desert amid a shortage of water supply, Bloomberg said.
Lake Chad, the biggest irrigation source in the north of Nigeria, shrunk by 90% since the 1960s, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
Flooding is another issue threatening Nigeria's food security.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Rice farmers in Kebbi state said they may not be able to repay the loan given to them by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and state governments as a result of the massive flood that destroyed their farms.
The rice farmers association in the northern state are now appealing to the CBN and state government to assist them by suspending the anchor borrower’s loan repayment from 2021 to 2022.
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