Harvest: Farmers raise alarm over activities of off-takers, middlemen in Gombe State

Some farmers in Gombe State have raised alarm over the activities of agricultural off-takers and middlemen coming to villages to buy produce from farmers.


They expressed concern in separate interviews the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Tilel Community, Dukku Local Government Area of Gombe State.


Usman Haruna, a grain farmer said the activities of off-takers were unusual as “they are coming to us as early as we are harvesting crops even giving us time to store produce.


“I have been farming for 20 years. It has never been like off-takers and middlemen. The way they are buying, some farmers may not even have enough to cater for families.








“I have refused to sell produce my farm produce because I still have enough money and food stuffs unlike some of my colleagues.


farmers borrowed money from different sources to cultivate farmlands, promising to pay after harvest. As the pressure to pay mounts, they are now vulnerable to these off-takers,“ said.


Haruna added that by such activities, off-takers and middlemen were short-changing farmers and making farming less lucrative because they buy at cheaper prices, hoard the produce and inflate prices and make more money than farmers,“ said.


advised farmers against selling off their produce at giveaway prices, adding ” ’t let anyone force you to sell your produce until you are ready to sell.”


Ibrahim Shuaibu, a maize farmer from Gelbunu, a neighbouring community said “ I think they (off-takers) are not helping us. They just buy off produce because they know we need money.







“I sold some bags of maize two weeks ago for N20, 000 bag because I needed to cover some expenses incurred during farming activities,’’ he said.


Shuaibu appealed to the federal and state governments to increase agricultural loans to accommodate more farmers, adding that it make farmers less vulnerable to the activities of off-takers.


Some farmers in the community also called on the government to re-introduce agricultural commodity marketing board to protect farmers and make farming more profitable for rural dwellers. (NAN)