ENUGU — The menace of suspected Fulani herdsmen at farm settlements in Enugu state has crippled rate of farm produce in the state resulting in the high cost of foodstuffs in the market.
Speaking to WAPN correspondent, a vegetable seller in the popular New Market Enugu, who pleaded anonymity explained, “The cost of foodstuffs are very high now as opposed to what it used to be at this time of year, rainy season,”
“This is because the main farmers in the interior communities where farm settlements are located are afraid for their lives,
“They are constantly harassed, maimed and some have lost their lives as Fulani herdsmen waylay them in their farms. Some produce are destroyed before harvest time; these losses affect the pricing and availability”
“The yellow habanero pepper grown mostly in the Nsukka area is now scarce due to insecurity in our land,” she explained.
A painter bucket of habanero pepper is now N2400; cayenne pepper popularly known as shombo is N2000; a painter of cassava flour (garri) is N900 while pumpkin leaves and other vegetables are now double its usual cost.
A couple of days ago, suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked farmers at their Farm Settlement at Opanda in Uzo-Uwani; this has been the trend and demoralizes the main farmers whose inputs directly affect cost of farm produce.
“The farm produce in the market now are majorly sourced from farms by the roadside but its quantity does not commiserate the demand, hence the price rise,” the vegetable seller reiterated.
“We call on our Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to empower and oversee the affairs of the Ebubeagu security outfit. We have not seen their impact in the state and wonder if they truly exist.
Recall that in a communiqué issued by the southeast Governors after a meeting in Owerri, the Governors formed a South East joint security outfit called Ebube Agu with its headquarters in Enugu to coordinate the zone’s vigilante; the Ebube Agu security is charged with the responsibility to maintain a conducive security climate in the five states within the southeast geopolitical zone- Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, and Imo state.
Also, it is pertinent to note that the Enugu State Government has assented to the Enugu State Forest Guards Law; the Forest Guards are to assist other security and law enforcement agencies in the detection and prevention of crime in the vast forests in the state.
With all these measures in place, lives and products of our farmers are still not secured. What then must be done?
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