Farmers in Northern Nigeria Pay Bandits up to N100,000 for Permission to Farm – Report

Farmers in Northern Nigeria Pay Bandits up to N100,000 for Permission to Farm - Report

Impact of Bandit Extortion on Farming Communities in Northern Nigeria: Insights from SB Morgan Intelligence Report.


In a recent study conducted by SB Morgan Intelligence, startling revelations emerge regarding the plight of farmers in Northern Nigeria. The report sheds light on the harrowing reality where farmers are compelled to pay exorbitant sums, up to N100,000, for access to their own farmlands during crucial planting and harvest seasons. Failure to comply often leads to dire consequences such as loss of crops, abduction, or even loss of life.

This distressing trend underscores the prevailing security challenges across Northern Nigeria, where non-state actors wield significant influence in the absence of adequate state security measures.

According to the findings, in regions like Kaduna, farmers are coerced into paying hefty sums ranging from N70,000 to N100,000 to bandits for permission to farm. Communities such as Kidandan, Galadimawa Kerawa, Sabon Layi, Sabon Birni, and Ruma are among the worst affected, with residents reporting extortion and intimidation tactics by bandits. Those who resist these demands face severe repercussions, including violence and confiscation of their agricultural produce.

The payment dynamics vary across different regions, with farmers in Zamfara being subjected to varying levies based on the type of crop cultivated. For instance, rice farmers in certain local government areas (LGAs) may pay as much as N120,000, while guinea corn farmers are charged comparatively lower fees, around N50,000. Additionally, bandits often demand payments in cash or a share of the harvest proceeds, with levies escalating during the harvest season.

Between November 2020 and November 2023, farmers in the North-western states collectively paid an alarming sum of approximately N224.92 million to various bandit groups. This widespread extortion has resulted in a wave of abductions and displacements, as many farmers are forced to abandon their livelihoods and flee their communities in search of safety.

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The repercussions of this insecurity extend beyond the agricultural sector, impacting the overall economy. Escalating food prices and dwindling food supplies exacerbate the already dire food security situation in the country. Nigerians, particularly those in the North, grapple with soaring food inflation, stagnant wages, and widespread hunger. Protests and attacks on food trucks and storage facilities have become increasingly common, further exacerbating the crisis.

According to projections by Cadre Harmonisé (CH), an estimated 26 million Nigerians will face food insecurity during the lean season of 2024 (June to August). The World Bank warns that seven states in the North are likely to experience severe food crises in the same year.

In conclusion, the extortionate practices of bandits in Northern Nigeria not only threaten the livelihoods of farmers but also jeopardize the food security and economic stability of the entire nation. Urgent intervention and concerted efforts are required to address this pressing issue and safeguard the well-being of farming communities.

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