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Farmers in Northern Nigeria pay bandits up to N100,000 for permission to farm – Report

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A new report by SB Morgan Intelligence has revealed that farmers across Northern Nigeria pay as much as N100,000 to access their farmlands during the planting or harvest season.

Failure to do so usually results in forfeiture of harvest, abduction or even death.

This revelation mirrors the security situation across Northern-Nigeria where non-state actors hold sway in the absence of state security officials.

According to the report, bandits in some communities in Kaduna, farmers have been forced to pay between N70,000 and N100,000 for permission to farm. This reality not only compounds the food security situation in the country but the general security of the region where abduction have become rife.

In Zamfara, payments to bandits depends on the type of crop being planted with more expensive crop’s farmers paying the highest. For example, rice farmers in some LGAs according to the study coughed out around N120,000 as farm levies to bandits while guinea corn farmers were made to pay just N50,000.

Furthermore, the report noted that payments to bandits could either be in cash or from proceeds of harvests as during the harvest season, the levies are usually higher. Bandits have also engaged tacit slavery forcing communities to grow crops and sell crops for them.

Between November 2020 and November 2023, farmers across the North-west states were levied around N224.92 million by different groups of bandits operating in the region. The abductions and in some cases deaths of victims have forced many to flee their home communities.

The dire insecurity situation across North-west Nigeria- one of Nigeria’s major food belts reverberates across different aspects of the economy. First, it leads to increased food prices and shortfall in food supply and also deters further investment in agricultural ventures across the region.

 

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