By Zubairu Idris
Katsina, Oct.2, 2020 The Katsina State Government on Friday said that that farmers abandoned 58,000 hectares of farmland as a result of attacks by bandits.
The Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Masari on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Abba Abdullahi,made this known while briefing newsmen in Katsina.
”It 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 500 farmers deserted their villages in droves.
”The COVID-19 has also affected fertilizer production worldwide. The government buys 30, 000 metric tonnes of fertilizer 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 store, so, if you add it to the 3, 000, we have 4, 000 metric tonnes to be distributed to dry season farmers,’’ he said.
Abdullahi said that the government sells fertilizer at a subsidized rate of N5, 000 per bag to boost food production in the state.
The special adviser said that the state would soon start cotton and cassava production during the dry season farming.