Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni, has expressed worries over the ban on fertilizer supply to Yobe by law enforcement agencies in Yobe and other northeastern state.
Governor Buni’s outcry also came at a time when thousands of farmers who invested heavily in the farming season began to count losses due to such security action. The governor, who spoke at a dialogue meeting with aggrieved Keke Napep operators in Damaturu, advised them to be law abiding so as not to give chances to the security operatives to capitalise more on their unruly behavior. The state chairman, Northeast Commodity Association of Nigeria (NECAS), Nuhu Baba Hassan, said he was receiving intense pressure from farmers that registered under anchor borrower scheme. “Some farmers are even accusing us of diverting the fertilizer elsewhere. We have over three trailers load of fertilizer waiting for security clearance to Yobe. Once we got the clearance, all eligible owners will receive their shares,” he said.
Hassan revealed that any form of fertiliser except liquid have been banned to be transported into the northeast, adding that; ‘’we want people to know that it is not only Yobe but it affected other states in the northeast.” Yunusa Mamman Sule, a civil servant in Damaturu, said he was encouraged by the anchor borrower intervention to go into large scale farming but the banned on fertilizer supply is affecting him. “It is our beliefs that once government provide subsidy in fertilizer and insecticides, farming business will be easy and lucrative, but the situation today is depriving us this advantage,” he said.
He called on President Muhammad Buhari to look inward and ordered the security operatives to lift the ban, considering that Yobe is an agrarian state, where about 95 percent of its population depends on agriculture. Another farmer, Ahmadu Ibrahim, said if urgent step was not taken to address the ban, the economic purpose of the farming will be defeated. “Crop have now grown almost to maturity stage without fertilizer, in weeks to come, the fertilizer may not be useful. God forbid, it will be devastating for the farmers and food security in Northeast because the yields from the crops will be minimal,” he said.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST