Hunger loom in Nigeria as about 78,000 farmers in Borno, Katsina, Taraba, Plateau and other states in northern Nigeria have abandoned their farmland as a result of attacks by Boko Haram terrorists, bandits and herdsmen.
From 2015, the farmers have consistently lost their produce to Boko Haram insurgents.
The six-year losses of sorghum, maize, beans and groundnuts have depleted the food basket of the country and incomes of the displaced farmers.
Reports confirmed that there are about 56,000 Internally Displaced Households (IDH) farmers from 28 communities in Borno State.
These people cultivated about 95,000 metric tonnes of crops yearly and have lost no less than 504,000 metric tonnes of food since 2015.
Before their displacement, the farmers engaged in wet and dry season farming and fishing and cultivated no less than 56,000 hectares of land and got an average of 1.5 metric tonnes of grains per hectare.
1.5 million people from 56,000 displaced Borno households is about currently taking refuge at 24 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
Some of the camps are in Monguno, Damboa, Gwoza, Pulka, Dikwa and Gambouru, a border community with Cameroon, Bakassi, Gubio and Dalori in Maiduguri metropolis, with IDPs coming from the affected 18 local government areas of the state.
Abubakar Sugun, a 52-year-old farmer from Kukawa Local Government Area taking refuge at Gubio IDP camp, told The Guardian: “Boko Haram insurgents not only killed my relations and friends, they torched our house and farmlands with crops yet to be harvested.
“We had to flee for safety in 2014 with my wife and five children to Maiduguri IDPs camp,” he said.
He lamented he could not go back to Kukawa to cultivate his eight-acre (approximately 2.5 hectares) farmland.
Before he fled to Maiduguri, he had produced millet, maize and beans to feed his family and to sell.
The President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabir Ibrahim, said the actual loss would be difficult to quantify.
Ibrahim said most farmers were unable to go to farms and would not be able to do so until security situation improves.
His words were: “Any farmland beyond a kilometre from the headquarters of these council areas cannot be accessed by farmers as they risk being abducted, killed or meeting other ills from bandits. The loss that has taken place in abandoned farmland, loss of farm produce and revenue for the farmers can only be imagined as the loss is huge,” he said”.
Industry experts say this portend hunger and poverty for the country as Nigeria could not sufficiently provide all the food she needs let alone losing more lives and farmers to Boko Haram attacks.