Farmers in Nigeria’s embattled Borno state are optimistic of a bumper harvest this cropping season as security situation improves in the area crippled by insurgency.
They also commended the military, Borno State Government and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for supporting the displaced farmers.
Thousands of displaced farmers supported by government and humanitarian organisations cultivated their farmlands in Gwoza, Pulka, Konduga and other liberated communities in the state.
FAO in collaboration with implementing partners distributed seeds and fertiliser to more than 1 million farmers this cropping season in the north-east.
A cross section of the farmers in Gwoza and Konduga local government areas said that they expected bumper harvest this season.
Mr Ali Ibrahim, a farmer, said he anticipated bumper harvest this year in view of the improved security and favourable weather condition.
Ibrahim said that he cultivated beans, groundnut and sesame seed at his farms in Gwoza, adding that the crops were yielding well.
He noted that the improved security situation and support from the organisations encouraged many farmers to go back to the farms.
“I am happy and hope to get bountiful harvest. I returned to the farm that I abandoned for the past six years due to insurgency.
“Already, some farmers recorded high yields at harvest,” Ibrahim said.
Mrs Hauwa Buba, a beans grower, said that she cultivated the land inherited from her husband with the support from humanitarian organisations.
Hauwa, a mother of four, said she worked on the farm together with her children.
“I will sell the produce to buy other food items to feed my family. I am happy that I am doing well,” she said.
Another farmer, Ms Hannatu Joshua, said that she cultivated vegetables on her farm, stressing that she no longer buys vegetables from the market.
Hannatu disclosed that she engaged her children to manage the farm and expected to get high yield during harvest.
Another farmer, Malam Modu Goni, said that he was preparing to harvest his crops soon.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, donated tractors to resettled farmers at Gudunbali community, to enable them cultivate their farmlands this cropping season.
The military also introduced effective security measures to protect farmers against insurgents’ attacks and encourage agricultural activities.
Statistics from FAO showed that over 140,000 households, representing more than one million displaced farmers, benefited from its agriculture support programme.