Rising Food Prices Grip Taraba State as Bandit Activities Disrupt Harvests

Prices of foodstuffs are on the rise in Taraba State following activities of bandits who have prevented farmers from harvesting their crops. Daily Trust reports.

Findings revealed that bandits have chased away many farmers in farming communities in parts of Bali, Ussa, Takum and Ardo_Kola local government areas of the state.

The activities of bandits, it was gathered, forced many farmers to abandon their farmers without harvesting their matured farm produce.

Presently, a 100kg bag of maize costs N32,000 as against N18,000 sold during harvesting period last year.

Similarly, a 100kg bag of paddy is sold at N25,000 as against N17,000 sold at this period last year.

Many farmers were killed by bandits while several others were abducted in the affected areas.

A farmer, Lami John, told Daily Trust on Sunday that they harvested their maize last around Kwando area in Ardo Kola Local Government Area but armed bandits in their numbers invaded the community.

She said many farmers, as well as their families, were abducted and the lucky ones including herself and her children escaped to a nearby forest.

“We slept in the forest till the following day and trekked to Jalingo and since then, l have not gone back to my farm and l don’t know if my crops are still there or eaten by cows,” she said.

In Ussa and Takum local government areas, many farmers were killed in recent attacks and as a result, many farmers have abandoned their farms without harvesting their crops.

Mr Bulus Andeyake told Daily Trust on Sunday that bandits invaded their communities and prevented farmers from harvesting their crops.

“In our area, going to the farm is very risky because bandits are everywhere, harassing innocent farmers,” he said.

Bulus stated that apart from many farmers killed by bandits in the last few months, 11 farmers were killed by bandits on Sunday around Jenuwagida while going to harvest their crops.

He said two farmers were also killed on Tuesday in their farm in the same area.

Bulus appealed to security agents to double their effort in fighting bandits in order to free farming communities from the bandits.

Another farmer, Dauda Maihula, said many farmers are afraid to go their farms to harvest their crops because of the presence of armed bandits.

He said on Tuesday, 14 hunters were killed in the area by bandits during a face-to-face confrontation.

Dauda said the hunters got killed while fighting the bandits who invaded farming communities and prevented them from going to their farms.

A grain trader at Iware grains market, Alhaji Haruna Jafar, told Daily Trust that prices of grains will continue to rise because of the activities of the bandits.

He said in areas around Kwando in Ardo Kola LGA and Dakka in Bali LGA, bandits have taken over many farming communities and prevented farmers from harvesting their crops.

Haruna stated that many rice, maize, soya beans and cowpea farmers did not harvest their crops for fear of the bandits.

He commended hunters and security agents for doing their best in confronting bandits in the state.