Rice farmers in Nguru local government area of Yobe State have called on the intervention of the state government over the destruction of their farmlands by herders in the state.
Kalisu Gure, a Manager of Slightedge Rice Mill while lamenting on the herder’s recent invasion said that a rice farm company with 200 hectares of my farmland under his custody was destroyed by Fulani herdsmen.
He revealed that the herders with their cattle in large numbers have over the last one month been grazing on their crops thus destroying goods worth millions of naira.
According to him, the situation has been discouraging investors and threatening the farming job opportunities for hundreds of unemployed youths in the area.
“There is a need for government to quickly intervene to avoid a clash that may occur because farmers cannot resist if the destruction continues and it will lead to violent conflict.
“We are in Nguru for business, so we established a rice factory that’s why we opened farmland there and we have provided reasonable jobs to the residents in both the farm and the rice mill.
“We are doing good, unfortunately nowadays we are demoralised by the activities of the herders on our farms, they are really destroying our investment.
He said ” When they started invading our farms we asked for reasons and some of them suggested that farmers had over grazed their cattle routes and therefore had no option than to encroach on our farms.
“We agreed with their explanation and later resolved to open some cattle routes for them which cost us a lot of resources.
“But despite our efforts they keep on coming and chasing their cattle into our farms, at the moment I have lost about 200 hectares of my rice farm.
“A part from the farms, they have blocked the water channels i’ve dredged for about of 1.5km distance to my irrigation site using it as dam to give water for their cattle, they are not just peace loving people.
“We engaged the service of some guards but we asked them not involve in fight with any herders because we don’t want to create havoc on the peace the community is enjoying “.
He appealed to government and security authorities to come up with drastic measures to addressing the situation in order to avoid further occurrence.