Thirty-year-old Aliyu Hassan looked sober when he narrated the story that will, for many years, linger in his memory.
Daily Trust met with Hassan in his rice farm in Dubali, about 40 kilometres from Jalingo, and engaged him on his farming activities.
In 2016, Hassan said he got 400 bags (40 tonnes) which he sold to buy a fairly used tractor which he used to expand his farming operations.
Hassan said in 2017, he harvested 60 metric tonnes of rice (600 100kg bags) and that he bought a Toyota Hilux van with the money he realised.
In 2018, he said he sold both the Hilux and the tractor and put the money into the rice farm.
However, Hassan said his dream of getting 200 tonnes (2000 100kg bags) ended in a day when herds of cattle invaded and destroyed almost 98 per cent of his farm.
“What I picked at the end of the day was less than 20 bags,” the father of four said, adding that, “I have lost everything I worked for in the last three years.
“In fact, the cows destroyed the farm unchallenged. The farmers who attempted to confront them were attacked with machetes. The herdsmen were so many and were armed with guns. We didn’t have arms,” he lamented.
The young farmer said until 2018, the problem was not common in the area, and like him, many other small holder farmers in Yelwa village got nothing from their farms this year.
The location of the farm is difficult to be accessed by security agents as crossing the many rivers to the area is a serious challenge.
Hassan, however, said he would begin everything afresh considering the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has brought more attention to farming.
Source: Daily Trust