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Farmers now being forced to pay N1.7m harvest fees to bandits in Katsina, Zamfara before they can harvest their farm produce

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Farmers in the North are now being charged as much as N1.7m annually as tax and harvest fees to avoid being abducted.

The bandits are also said to be the ones who dictates if a farmer has access to his farm or not.

A resident from Dankurmi Village in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, said, “Our people have stopped going to their farmlands for fear of being kidnapped or killed. Kidnapping has become a common phenomenon in this area.

“Bandits are now the ones who decide whether we go to farms or not, in some areas even if farmers plant crops they cannot cultivate due to insecurity.

“In my village, we pay N800,000 as tax and N900,000 as harvest fees. Even if you pay, they will come to your farm and abduct you. This Fulani herdsmen are our problem here in Zamfara, only God can help us.”

Another farmer from Sabuwa Local Government Area of Katsina said they now negotiate with bandits before they are allowed to harvest their crops.

More so, other farmers who spoke to BBC Hausa, revealed that, farmers are forced to pay bandits to allow them access to their farms at the beginning of the planting season. Now that it’s time to harvest their crops, the bandits are demanding for as much as 900,000 Naira from farmers in certain villages before they will allow them carry on harvesting.

The North has been rife with insecurity lately, with kidnapping for ransom being the major problem in most parts of Katsina and Zamfara states.