Farmlands in Sokoto are presently been rocked by the impact of the hot weather as fruit dealers in the state are incurring colossal losses as in their farming business activities.
Categorically, the disturbing heat has been having an adverse effect on agricultural produces such as; pawpaw, pineapple, orange, mango and watermelon etc.
A fruit trader in the state, Mallam Aminu, admitted that dealers are usually dreadful of the hot weather, which was in reaction to the huge losses they’ve been suffering from with no solution proffered so far.
Another agricultural produce merchant, Umaru Muazu, who deals on pineapples disclosed that they purchased the commodity from Benin in Edo State at N230,000 per truck, with an inclusion of a N100, 000 transport fee.
“But in times like this, we hardly realise N150,000. Yet we still go back next time because it is our source of livelihood. We spend two days on the road and by the time our commodity arrives Sokoto, a greater percentage has perished, especially when a vehicle develops problem on the way,” he said.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Lemu, the Vice Chairman of the Fruits Sellers Association (FSA) lamented about the excessive loss in the trade, stressing that a great percentage of the agro produce gets destroyed and wasted as a result the presently uncontrollable heat.
“We get orange from Gboko, banana from Ilesha, pineapple and pawpaw from Edo. The heat from the automobiles conveying them to Sokoto and the weather contribute to heavy losses experienced by the merchants.”
“At present, a merchant cannot even afford to pay for the transport fare; which is N550,000. We struggle to pay the drivers,” he said.
He further stated that they were also battling serious glut until the arrival of Ramadan which he said was a lucrative period for the sale of fruits.
Among the fruits, he said watermelon had a higher chance to survive the heat and recalled that government had once tried to establish a watermelon factory.
Some members of the association, with over 9,000 membership cutting across 23 local government areas, said the association assisted some of them whose capital tumbled as a result of destruction of their commodities.
There were positive vibes at the in the state as the fruit dealers appealed for support from government in terms of storage facilities and soft loans for the farm produce so as to up their capital base.