Farmers in Bauchi State have been warned not to hurriedly sell their harvested grains to food merchants from neighbouring states in order not to suffer hunger in the future.
The warning was given yesterday by the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Samai’la Adamu Burga, during an interactive session with journalists in his office in Bauchi.
According to Burga, the warning becomes imperative due to the fact that the prices of foodstuffs will soar high in the remaining months of the year.
The commissioner said farmers in the state need to reserve food for the rainy days and resist the temptation of selling their harvest early to meet their needs as they may end up buying those foodstuffs at a higher price later.
He lamented that farmers are rushing to sell their produce and described this as dangerous.
“It is disheartening that the minimum food that is produced, people have started selling it out.
“This is dangerous because between July and August, a bag of maize was sold for almost N30,000 and in the previous months, farmers were selling a bag of maize for between N14,000 and N15,000 thinking that they were making profits, only to be forced to buy the same maize at above N30,000 during the hunger period of July and August.
“Farmers should reserve their food for rainy days. They can sell their animals whenever they are pressed financially and not their harvest,” the commissioner advised.
He, however, called on district heads, community and religious leaders to prevail on their followers to be wary of food merchants who will be coming to buy at cheap prices now.
“I am appealing to district head, community and religious leaders to educate their followers to reserve their food as merchants from other states will come and buy at a cheap price and sell it for a higher,” Burga said
He said that from the prediction of the meteorological agency, rainfall will extend to the end of October in the state and added that the soil in the state is already saturated.
According to him, with this situation, more additional rainfalls will lead to flooding in the state.
Burga then advised farmers who farm on river banks in the state to stop leaving their farm produce on the banks, saying that when there are heavy rains, the produce will be washed away.