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August 20, 2008

Nigerian farmers protest delayed fertiliser deliveries

Farmers’ associations in Bauchi,Nigeria have staged a peaceful demonstration to protest the alleged delay in the release of fertiliser to their members by the state committee on fertiliser distribution.

The aggrieved farmers blocked the major entrance to the central fertiliser warehouse situated along Bauchi-Jos road holding the officials and some members of the committee hostage. It took the intervention of a detachment of policemen to disperse the protesters to avert the possibility of a breakdown of law and order.

A cross section of the aggrieved farmers expressed dissatisfaction with the delay in the release of the commodity to them more than two months after paying for it. ‘’We are already approaching the climax of the raining season, but the fertiliser we paid for had not reached us. How long shall we continue to wait, “one of the farmers complained.

“We are afraid that our hope of recording a bumper harvest this year may be dashed due to the scarcity and high cost of fertiliser in the state,” farmer Mallam Yakubu Maimasaara said.

Alhaji Bello Galoji, Youth leader of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Bauchi chapter, said that the scarcity of the commodity had negatively affected farming activities in the state. Galoji said that the association was allocated only 4,200 bags of the commodity for distribution to its over 24,000 members.

Alhaji Alhassan Musa, Chairman, Maize Association in the state, said that the association was also yet to receive its allocation of the commodity from the state fertilizer distribution committee in spite of payment made for the commodity.

Commenting on the development, the Managing Director of the Bauchi State Agricultural Supply Company (BASAC), Alhaji Usman Dankadai, said that government had made adequate provision of the commodity to meet the demands of farmers in the state.

Dankadai, who is also a member of the distribution committee, attributed the delay in the release of the commodity to the repackaging exercise currently going on in the various warehouses. He said that the exercise was necessary to guard against diversion of the commodity.

Daily Trust

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