Some farmers in Borno have renewed calls for the deployment of military and other security personnel to farmlands this cropping season to protect them against attacks by insurgents.
They also called for the provision of fertiliser and other inputs to ease difficulties in accessing the commodities.
A cross section of the farmers made the calling separate interviews with newsmen at some fields in Jere and Mafa Local Government Areas of the state, on Monday.
Bana Ali, a rice farmer, said the call was imperative as the insurgents had attacked farmers and loggers during previous seasons, a trend which forced most of them to abandon their farmlands.
“As the cropping season progresses; farmers could not work in distant farmlands for fear of the insurgents’ attacks.
“Many farmers were attacked and killed during the dry season activity in various farming communities in the outskirt of Maiduguri and other local government areas,” he alleged.
Alhaji Muhammad Hassan, the Chairman of the Rice Sellers and Processors Association in Zabalmari community of Jere local government area, added that proactive measures were necessary to encourage farming activities this season.
Hassan noted that farmers at Zabalmari, Koshebe and adjourning communities in Jere and Mafa were most affected by e attacks.
He said that many farmers in the area were killed by the insurgents while engaging in farming during the dry season.
“We call for the deployment of military and other security personnel to protect farmers in the fields.
“We commenced farming activities in earnest but attacks by the insurgents are a source of worry to us.
Hassan also called for the provision of fertiliser and inputs to the farmers at a subsidized rate, noting that they procured the commodity at exorbitant prices in the market.
The farmer urged the state’s Ministry of Water Resources not to release excess water from the Alao Dam, adding that the action destroyed farmlands and exposed them to losses.
He, however, lauded efforts of the military and other security agencies in the counter-insurgency operations.
On their part, Ali Audu and Ya Kolo, commended the state government for its assistance to farmers, calling on the authorities to look into the security challenges associated with farming activities in the state,
NAN reports that Gov. Babagan Zulum of Borno had on July 3, flagged-off the distribution of fertiliser and seeds to 100, 000 farmers at Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDPs) and resettled communities.
Zulum announced that government would give N5, 000 to each of the benefiting farmers to offset the cost of labour.
He explained that the gesture was to encourage farmers to cultivate what to eat, reduce dependence on humanitarian interventions and enhance food security.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had equally distributed fertiliser and inputs to 100, 000 displaced farmers in the state this cropping season.
Some of the produce cultivated by farmers includes rice, wheat, beans, sorghum, maize, tomato; onions, pepper, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce and watermelon.
NAN also reports that the Nigerian Army had also deployed troops to the resettled farming communities