Mercy Adekanye, the Erelu Iyaloja General of Akure kingdom, Ondo State, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify efforts towards curbing excesses of Fulani herders across the states of the federation, especially the agrarian Ondo state, as many farmers now dread the idea of going to their farms.
Adekanye, who identified herdsmen invasion of farms as a major cause for the rising cost of foodstuffs in some parts of cities, towns and villages in the state, said it was high time the government found a lasting solution to illegal activities of some herders who are perpetrating crimes under the guise of being cattle rearers.
Erelu Iyaloja General of Akure kingdom also expressed worry that farm produce of many farmers are daily being destroyed by cows and when demand exceeds supply, the price of the farm produce will automatically go up, saying market leaders are not being necessarily wicked but are forced to sell at an increased price to break even.
Speaking in response to the belief that market women and men inflate prices of goods which should be ordinarily sold at reasonable prices if there were no crisis, Erelu Adekanye explained that invasion of farms where agricultural produce is harvested and distributed has been affected as several farmlands in the state have been invaded by suspected herdsmen which are causing major food crisis and inflated prices of foodstuffs.
“As market men and women, we don’t determine the price. Demand and supply dictate the price. You cannot compare Akure with Owo, Ondo, or Ekiti state. I want to thank Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for his recent pronouncement to Fulani herders to leave the forest and stop open grazing, ”she said.
Addressing the reason for the hike in the cost of foodstuff, she said, when a farmer cannot go to the farms, demand and supply will dictate the price of available goods. ”Where they are usually able to bring in maybe 10 pickups of farm produce and now they can only bring two, the price will go up”.
Adekanye also affirmed that the cost of transporting goods also affecting prices remarkably.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY