Famine Looms Over Northern Nigeria as Farmers Pay Harvest Fees to Terrorists in Zamfara

Charles Nwoke, Zamfara, Nigeria.
November 12, 2020 

A recent report by BBC Hausa Service has revealed how farmers in Zamfara State pay the sum of 800,000 Naira to terrorists before they could be permitted to harvest their crops.

One of the farmers in Dan Kurmi village of Maru Local Government Area told the BBC Hausa that the terrorists imposed a tax on him before allowing him to cultivate his land.

“They imposed 800,000 on us before they allowed us to harvest our crops, and we paid,” he said.

According to the BBC Hausa, the majority of farmers in the villages of Zamfara paid some amounts to the terrorists before they could access their farms.

Although farmers in villages like Duhuwar Saulawa, Duhuwar Maikulungu, Bauɗi, Zagadi, Doka da Tungar Makeri gave a large amount of money to the terrorists, they still get kidnapped when they go to their farms.

Some of the farmers interviewed by the BBC Hausa said the terrorists have developed new tactics of stealing the farm produce in other villages.

“Like what happened in Duhuwar Maikulungu after one of the farmers collected ten sacks of surya beans.

“After everything was done, the terrorists attacked the farmers and went away to produce the farm,” one of the farmers narrated.

The farmers said they lost farm produce worth millions of Naira to the insecurity ravaging their villages and hindering them from farming activities.

“Although people in Duhuwa Saulawa paid more than 300,000 Naira they could not have access to their farms.

“Beans and rice products can be seen everywhere and ready to be harvested but are not reachable,” a farmer said.

The spokesman of Police in Zamfara State, SP Muhammed Shehu, called the farmers to stop paying the harvest money to the terrorists.

He said paying the money makes the terrorists stronger and pushes them to keep attacking the farmers.

“We are always calling people to stop paying because that will make the gunmen request for more,” Shehu said.

The farmers have however said there is nothing they could do if they stop paying since the government failed to protect them and their properties.