Expert Laments impending Food Scarcity following Killing of Borno Rice Farmers by Boko Haram
It was a horrible weekend in Borno State and across Nigeria, following reports that Boko Haram terrorists slaughtered more than 100 rice farmers in the village of Koshobe, near Maiduguri. This is the latest in a spate of senseless killings that have ravaged the state and the entire North Eastern part of Nigeria. In the meantime, the Nigerian military lags behind in the war against terrorism.
Here’s what we know
AFP reported that the terrorists targeted the farmers on their rice fields, slitting their throats whilst killing many and wounding others in the process. The death toll has been put at 110, even as some villagers have been reported missing. On Sunday November 29th, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum participated in the tear-filled burial rites for those slain in the attack.
Borno Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum attended the burial Sunday in the nearby village of Zabarmari of bodies recovered on Saturday. Initial tolls indicated 43 and then at least 70 dead from the massacre by suspected Boko Haram fighters.https://t.co/7nVf8VpXOE pic.twitter.com/O2GpuIOPV4
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) November 29, 2020
The attack was met with outrage on social media, particularly Twitter where many Nigerians questioned why such attacks keep on happening despite all the resources availed the military towards facilitating the fight against terrorism. Among those who poured out their outrage was former Cross River Governor, Donald Duke, who warned that “there is a need for the complete revamp of our security network. We can’t go on like this definitely; we are losing our country.”
Another urgent problem – a Looming food crisis
Without a doubt, the continuous and senseless killings of Nigerians by Boko Haram terrorists is a major national security threat. And now, the problem has taken a fresh turn as the terrorists now target farmers. The implication is obvious -a continuous attack on farmers will scare them away from their farms, a situation that will inevitably lead to food shortages. This is not good for a country that is already struggling to feed its citizens.
Speaking to Business Elites Africa earlier this morning, a Policy Officer (Agriculture and Inclusive Growth) at One Campaign, Fatai Razaq Adewale, said that “the killings clearly mean one thing; that we are very far from attaining food security. Until every agricultural worker feels safe to farm, we cannot transform our food systems and end all forms of hunger and malnutrition in the country.”
The Optics: In a September 2018 report, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) detailed how security challenges and conflicts ultimately result in decreased food security. Earlier, a report in Sky Journal for Food and Science used the Boko Haram crisis as a case study to establish the relationship between insecurity and food shortages. Suffice it to say that 2021 is already primed to be a challenging year for Nigerian consumers, unless something is urgently done to contain the situation.
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