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Farmers in Northern Nigeria pay bandits N100k for permission to plant crops

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A new report by SB Morgan Intelligence has disclosed that farmers across Northern Nigeria pay as much as N100,000 to armed bandits to access their farmlands during the planting or harvest season.

Penalities for non-compliance range from forfeiture of harvest or abduction to execution.

In Kaduna for instance, bandits demand between N70k and N100k from each farmer in some communities for permission to farm, the report stated.

The report read in part, “In Kaduna, communities like Kidandan, Galadimawa Kerawa, Sabon Layi, Sabon Birni and Ruma have been significantly impacted. Residents in these areas have reported paying substantial sums ranging from N70,000 to N100,000 to bandits for permission to farm, with additional payments required for harvesting.

“Those who resist these demands face severe consequences, including abduction, murder or confiscation of their produce.”

In Zamfara, payments to bandits depend on the type of crop being planted with more expensive crop’s farmers paying the highest.

For example, rice farmers in some LGAs according to the study coughed out around N120,000 as farm levies to bandits while guinea corn farmers were made to pay just N50,000.

Furthermore, the report noted that payments to bandits could either be in cash or from proceeds of harvests as during the harvest season, the levies are usually higher.

Bandits have also engaged tacit slavery forcing communities to grow crops and sell crops for them.

Between November 2020 and November 2023, farmers across the North-west states were levied around N224.92 million by different groups of bandits operating in the region.

The abductions and in some cases deaths of victims have forced many to flee their home communities.

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