The Centre for Democratic Development Research and Training (CEDDERT) yesterday said about 85 per cent of cattle in Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina have been rustled by bandits.
At least 65% of livestock in the area has been lost to criminals.
Professors Massoud Omar and Mustapha Gwadabe made this known while presenting report of research conducted by CEDDERT, which was titled Economic Impact of Rural Banditry on Dansadau and Birnin Gwari communities of Zamfara and Kaduna States.
The report observed that farming activities have shrunk in Dansadau, saying that about 73 per cent of productive capacity of peasants in that area has been lost.
Study, according to the report, shows that farms cultivation has shrunk by 50 per cent and grain output fell by 77.3 per cent in the affected areas.
It added; “there was mass migration of pastoralists, leading to disappearance of cattle which in turn aggravates meat shortage in Nigeria. Economic activities have been grounded not only in the affected areas but also in the neighbouring communities, urban areas and the nation at large.”
The Director of the centre, Dr. Abubakar Siddique, urged federal and state governments to introduce what he called undiluted approach to end rural banditry in order to safe Nigeria’s agricultural production.
A former senator from Zamfara state, Sa’idu Dansadau, said genuine dialogue with the suspected criminals could pave way for lasting peace, saying that the rate of theft in Dansadau area had risen.