Two weeks ago, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, while presenting his ministry’s scorecard from 2015 to 2023 in Abuja, attributed the rising cost of food items to inflation and COVID 19 pandemic.
He also expressed doubt that the herders would intentionally unleash their cattle on farms which has been the cause of clashes between herders and farmers which sometimes result to casualties.
In their separate interviews however, farmers across the country dismissed the minister’s claims and proffered the real reasons for the soaring price of foodstuff. Some of the farmers also decried what they described as the lack of incentive from the state and the Federal Government.
Farmers in Plateau State attributed food scarcity to the frequent invasion of their farms by herdsmen. They argued that in the past, many families had enough food at home and only sold what was necessary to meet other needs but now, families are stranded because they have lost both their homes and means of livelihood to the activities of some herders. The farmers said they have lost different types of grains, tubers and vegetables among other crops to the unwholesome activities of herdsmen who apart from destroying the crops in the farm, also burnt food barns where foodstuffs and seedlings were kept. Respondents from Bokkos, Bassa, and Wase local government areas of the state unanimously lamented their sorry situation.
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