Suspected herdsmen have destroyed rice seedlings valued at over N8 million in Ezeagu Council of Enugu State.
Owner of the farm, Mr. Ekene Uzodimma, lamented yesterday that he was nursing the over nine-hectare farm land for next year’s planting season.
He said that he had gone to the farm at the weekend to harvest the seedlings with his workers, only to discover that cows had grazed on them.
Explaining to reporters in Enugu how he had nursed the “special seedlings” preparatory for next year’s farming season, he urged the state government to intervene in the frequent destruction of farmlands in the state by herdsmen, to avoid chaos.
Uzodimma, who claimed to own 230 hectares of rice farm in the state, said he had gone to the farm two weeks ago and pleased that the seedlings were ripe for harvest.
His words: “I went there with my workers on Saturday to begin the harvesting. Behold, what I saw two weeks ago very blossoming had been totally consumed by herds. While we were still there, they came grazing around the place. We approached them calmly to know why they grazed on our crops, but their response was very appalling. It was obvious they did it wilfully and not ready to repent.
“The seedlings I will plant next farming season have been consumed. If I will continue farming, I will have to go and buy seeds again very costly. So this is what we face every year.”
Lamenting that he had tried to reach relevant authorities before to lay his complaint, the farmer added: “We need intervention of the state government in this regard. I am discussing this because I am very civil; there are some farmers that will not just take this. I am crying that relevant authorities should do something to avoid getting to a level where we degenerate to anarchy. This is because somebody who loses his crops constantly may try to take laws into his hands.
“In Ezeagu, where my farm was invaded last week, every local farmer there is complaining. They are lamenting what the herdsmen are doing right now.”
Uzodimma said he would have made over N8 million from the destroyed crops, if he had processed the rice and sold to the public.
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