As farmers begin harvest of farm produce in Katsina State, hoarders have stepped up their nefarious activities.
Produce markets in Katsina State came to life in recent weeks with the influx of new maize, rice, beans, millet and onions.
Speaking, Malam Muhammadu Gozaki, a maize farmer, said that considering the value of farm produce this year, some businessmen have decided to hoard produce to make huge profit in future.
He said: “If strategic measures are not taken by both farmers and government, scarcity and high cost of foodstuffs are likely to occur in near future due to selfish activities of hoarders. The farmers, too, are not helping matters as many of them do not understand the idea of saving, a situation that is translating into the simple transfer of the farm produce from the farmers to businessmen who hoard it for future sales.”
He said that peasant farmers needed to be sensitised on the dangers of selling their produce, without saving any, especially with the prevailing economic recession in the country.
He emphasised the need for government to establish silos in senatorial districts in the country to store farm produce and guard against activities of hoarders.
Another farmer in Danja LGA, Malam Yusuf Audi, urged government to protect the patriotic interest of farmers against selfish interest to sustain food production in the country.
“Many of those hoarders were champions of importation of food items into the country,” he said.
“Now that borders are closed, they look inward to exploit the common man. They hardly own a farm but they are building large stores where they stockpile farm produce to sell them at exorbitant prices in future. Look at what they are doing with groundnut, they buy it from Niger State and instead of supplying markets, they store it, making its price to increase to N22,000 from N19,000 per 100Kg bag.”
He said that Nigeria had all it took to feed its people and export to other countries, “but that can only be achieved if government put measures in place to checkmate activities of unscrupulous businessmen who stopped at nothing in maximising their profit at the expense of ordinary citizens.”
He commended the efforts of the federal government in reviving the lost glory of agriculture.
This reporter visited some markets in Dandume, Danja, Kafur and Dayi in Katsina State and observed booming economic activities going on there.
(Culled from Dailytrust)