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Stolen paddy: Farmers in pain, seek spiritual help

Some farmers whose paddy rice was stolen in Taraba State have engaged the services of clerics in a bid to recover what was stolen from…

Some farmers whose paddy rice was stolen in Taraba State have engaged the services of clerics in a bid to recover what was stolen from their farms and put a permanent stop of theft in irrigation farming fields in the state.

Adamu Falalu told Daily Trust on Sunday that the clerics they engaged had embarked on prayers, with a view to exposing the thieves and recover bags of paddy rice stolen in their farms

Falalu said he would not relent in this effort because if the culprits were not exposed, they would continue to steal farm produce and that would discourage people from engaging on dry season farming, which is very profitable.

Other farmers affected said they left everything to God, but during the next season, they would be more vigilant and involve community leaders in providing security for farmers in their farms.

Speaking on their predicament, the farmers said they lost greater part of their investments to dry season farming, which they wanted to reinvest in wet season.

Abubakar Ibrahim, one of the farmers whose part of rice farm was harvested by thieves, said he did not recover half of the money he invested in his farm

He said dry season farming yielded bumper harvest but the thieves shattered his goal of making huge profit.

He said he planted five bags of rice seed, hoping to harvest 110 bags of paddy rice but only harvested 50 bags.

“By the time you remove cost of labour, fuel, fertiliser, transport and other expenses incurred, you will hardly recover the money you spent on the farm,” he said.

Another farmer, Ibrahim Saidu, said he hoped to harvest more than 200 bags of paddy rice, but after the thieves harvested part of his farm, he only got half of what he expected.

He said this was the first time thieves stole rice from his farm, and blamed the situation on envy on the part of villagers close to the irrigation farms at the Shoma area.

He alleged that the thieves who invaded his farm and others were from the same locality where the irrigation farms were located.

“The thieves selected the farms that matured and ready for harvest. They harvested the rice during midnight after chasing guards away.

“It is a practice that every farmer stationed one or two guards in his farm when the rice is maturing and ready for harvest, but this time, the thieves organised themselves and came in numbers, with dangerous weapons and harvested,” he alleged.

He said he had been engaging in rice farming during wet and dry seasons and always reinvested the proceeds from sales to either wet or dry season farming.

He said the profit made from one season sustained him and other farmers and their families, but now, he lost greater part of his investment.

“Our target of increasing the scope of farming activities this wet season has been shattered and we are left with the option of reducing our activities or borrowing money to engage in wet season farming,” he said.

Findings by Daily Trust on Sunday revealed that farmers have taken more measures to prevent further theft.

Other farmers have also hired more labourers to harvest their rice and transport to Jalingo to be stored by middlemen.

 

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