The Katsina State Government says farmers have abandoned over 58,000 hectares of farmlands as a result of incessant attacks by armed bandits.
Dr Abba Abdullahi, the Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Masari on Agriculture and Natural Resources, said this on Friday at a news briefing in Katsina.
“This has affected the state’s annual crop production by 30 per cent. The activities of these bandits in some parts of Katsina State are posing serious threat to agriculture, as more than 500 farmers deserted their villages in droves.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected fertiliser production worldwide. The government buys 30, 000 metric tonnes of fertiliser annually for distribution to farmers during the rainy season.
“But this year, we were only able to buy 3,000, out of the 10,000 metric tonnes we planned to buy.
“We have about 1,000 metric tonnes left in our stores; so, if you add it to the 3, 000, we have 4, 000 metric tonnes of fertiliser for distribution to dry-season farmers,’’ he said.
Abdullahi said that the government sold its fertiliser at a subsidised rate of N5, 000 per bag to boost food production in the state.
He said that the state would soon start cotton and cassava farming during the dry season.