Farmers in Damaturu have appealed to federal and state governments to buy off agricultural produce from farmers to ensure the sustenance of standard price.
The farmers, who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, said the fall in prices of agricultural produce had discouraged many people from farming in 2019 season.
They also said that buying off the produce would enable proper preservation of agriculture produce purchased, thereby safeguarding the health of people.
Malam Ibrahim Warsala, a farmer, advised government to buy the excess produce directly from farmers to keep a standard price and ensure that farmers remained afloat.
“The other advantage is government would ensure regulation of preservatives in most grains produced across the country, and effectively check use of poisonous materials,” Warsala said.
Malam Abba Bukar, a retired civil servant and farmer, said there were multiple advantages in government buying the produce, which included encouraging farming activities, ensuring food security and enhancing the economy.
“The situation now is that grain merchants buy most of the produce and sometimes mix same with dangerous chemicals to preserve the grains.
“The Buhari administration has encouraged Nigerians to go into farming and many Nigerians heeded the call but, they may abandon it if not encouraged with inputs and readily available markets,” Bukar said.
Alhaji Musa Alkali, another farmer, advised government to resuscitate grain silos across the country and purchase excess grains for storage in all the states.
“This translates to agricultural and food subsidy to farmers and consumers respectively, as well as reducing health risks caused by feeding on poisonous substances used as preservatives,” Alkali said.
Saidu Ibrahim, another farmer, said many farmers in his area abandoned or reduced sizes of their farmlands in 2019 due to low prices of produce.
“Many people who cultivated or bought beans, sorghum and millet during the last harvest, were lamenting the drop in prices, saying it was unprofitable.
“There are fears that if farmers produce more, supply will exceed demand by far, as such many people abandoned farming this year,” Ibrahim said.
Modu Sheriff, a labourer, said the patronage of their service was very low this year compared to previous years due to decline in farming activities in Damaturu.
“If you go to the central roundabout,the Family Support health center junction, Potiskum road roundabout and the Maiduguri road-about, you will see hundreds of able-bodied youth waiting to be hired as labourers to work on farmlands,” Sheriff said.(NAN)