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Fertiliser cost: Like others, Kano dry season farmers in dilemma

Farmers in Kano State have expressed concern over the rise in the price of fertiliser, which they said was gradually getting out of hand. They…

Farmers in Kano State have expressed concern over the rise in the price of fertiliser, which they said was gradually getting out of hand. They have been lamenting that if care is not taken, the current fertiliser price would cripple all their efforts at bridging the deficit in food production incurred during the last wet season. 

Recent checks revealed that a 50kg of Urea fertiliser is now selling at N37,000, while NPK 10:10 and NPK15:15 are selling at N23,000 and 25,000, which stakeholders described as the highest in 10 decades. Many are of the view that the hike in fertiliser price is a deliberate attempt to send them out of their farms and businesses. 

It was also gathered that the price of the commodity is still going up, with little or no hope for smallholder farmers who have planned to take part in this year’s dry season farming. 

Malam Habu Bello Kubarachi, a farmer, said many dry season farmers had already adopted the olden-days measures to manage the situation and minimise possible losses as they can no longer afford the commodity. He added that farmers were left with the option of either abandoning their plantations or looking for possible ways to get soft loans to buy fertiliser.

“We are left at the mercy of fertiliser. Some of us have already cultivated over five hectares but the price of fertiliser is too high that we cannot afford it. This dry season is going to be very hectic for small scale farmers, who have constituted a greater percentage in the state. Our fear is that many of us would not be able to participate in the upcoming wet season farming activities because we have forecasted losses this dry season,” he said.

Similarly, the state chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Malam Abdulrasheed Magaji Rimingado, said farmers had never had it so hard. He explained that the association had since gone to the state government to seek possible avenues to ease the plight of farmers. He said the association was trying to see how the present administration in the state would revive the initial subsidies farmers used to benefit from.

“We have begun discussion with the state authorities on the possibility of putting out a form of subsidy or revive the already existing ones that have been abandoned for years. We are hopeful that something positive would come out of this discussion. No doubt, this development would negatively affect the level of food production, not only in Kano State but the whole country,” he said.

Another farmer, Isah Yahaya Gafan, said he and some others had reverted to the use of a mixture of potash and salt to replace Urea. He, however, added that although its efficacy is not as that of Urea, it is better than none. He also said his major concern were rice farmers who are currently preparing for the dry season because they would not be able to do much.

“Rice farmers planning to cultivate vast farmlands are presently reconsidering because their demand for fertiliser has increased but purchasing power is threatened by the hike in the price of the commodity. This is a very dangerous phenomenon, especially considering the increased demand for rice as staple food in Nigeria. Government should do something now or we will all be in for it,” he warned.

 

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