Makurdi- Some farmers in Benue have decried the continued hostilities between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the state, saying that the feud was affecting the cost of seed yams in the state.
A cross-section of the farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi on Sunday that the cost of seed yams was getting beyond their reach.
They said that many rural farmers who stored seed yams for planting had been displaced, while numerous seed yams were also destroyed during the crises.
A farmer, Mrs Nyifan Abenga, bemoaned the loss of her seed yams to the crises in Ortese village, Guma Local Government Area, saying that she now wanted to buy seed yams for planting.
She condemned the hike in the cost of seed yams, appealing to the sellers to consider the plight of the rural farmers and reduce the prices.
Another farmer, Oryima Tyozenda, said that the high cost of seed yams might affect the food security of the state, as this would not allow many farmers to plant yams this year.
``Benue is purely an agrarian state and the people here are predominantly farmers who cultivate yams.
``Now, if yams, which are the mainstay of our economy, are abandoned; then, you can guess what will happen next year,’’ he added.
Mrs Rose Nguzenden, a farmer, also complained about the high cost of seed yams, saying: ``Right here in this village (Kyado), I bought two medium-sized basins of seed yams at the cost of N14,000.''
She, however, noted that the quantity of the seed yams which she bought was not adequate, as her farm was quite large.
``Most farmers have lost their seed yams to the ongoing crises and with the high cost of seed yams, I am afraid, we may have famine on our hands if nothing is done to make seed yams available for planting,'' she said.
NAN reports that a medium-sized container of seed yams, which sold last year for N5,000 in the local markets, now goes for between for N8,000 and N10,000, depending on the bargaining power of the buyer.
At Daudu, Fiidi, Tiotu and Kyado markets in Makurdi, Tarka and Gboko Local Government Areas, farmers complained of the high costs.
NAN reports that the protracted crises particularly affected Guma, Makurdi and Gwer Local Government Areas of the state.