Increasing attacks by herdsmen on cassava farms across the country and lack of support by Federal Government for cassava value chain has caused prices of cassava products to hit rooftop, The Guardian has learnt.
The National President of Nigerian Cassava Growers Association, Pastor Tayo Adewumi, told The Guardian that most of their members are yet to recoup their losses after suffering several attacks by herdsmen. He said farmers no longer feel safe in their farms because herdsmen are chasing them away from farms.
“For eight months, we were not getting market for our produce, but when we started making some sales, herdsmen are chasing us away from the farm. So, we are at the mercy of market forces and because of lack of patronage, people are feeling discouraged to go back to farm,” he said.
The NCGA president explained that following damage done to their farms by herdsmen, they demanded for compensation from the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance (NAIC), having insured the farms, but only to be informed that NAIC does not pay for malicious damage.
He said: “We insured all the 33,500 hectares of farm the association planted for the production of high quality cassava flour. And when herdsmen came and destroyed it, we wrote to NAIC, asking for compensation, giving them all the details of the farm, police report, affidavit and all other evidences. They sympathised with us and told us that, unfortunately we didn’t insure against malicious damage, so they couldn’t compensate us. Those were the things that discouraged farmers from planting cassava. You are not even sure you will be safe while on the farm.