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    HomeAgro-BusinessEXCLUSIVE: How hardships force teenagers into farm labour in Kano communities

    EXCLUSIVE: How hardships force teenagers into farm labour in Kano communities

    By Zahraddeen Yakubu Shuaibu 

    Teenagers in some Kano villages are currently experiencing difficulties as they are forced into hard farm labour in quest to get something to feed their families.

    The young people, who are both boys and girls, have decided to take responsibility difficult for them to withstand at a time they are expected to be in schools. They are going through a lot because they have to travel long distance to reach the farms and immediately commence a job traditional done by people who attained adulthood.

    Read Also: How Kano, Jigawa youths survive on farm labour

    While those between the ages of 12 and above are busy working in the farms, the younger ones are scouting waste in some selected farms where dry season farming took place and it is time for harvesting.

    In an interview with AgroClimateNews majority of the teenagers said they work at the farms every day from morning till evening and at the end of the day they take the little money they earn to their parents to buy something and feed the family.

    Some of the girls working in farm in Bunkure LGA. Photo Credit: AgroClimateNews

    “We come here every day once the harvest commences. We work for the farm owners and they pay our labour with rice or in cash and our younger ones hang around until we are done so that they can get something from the remains of the harvest.

    “We are in a difficult situation. Our parents cannot provide food for us. We are taking whatever we get here to them to sell and buy food for the family,” a 12-year-old Jamila Isa told AgroClimateNews.

    Hashimu Iliya, a teenager, said the challenges they were facing in the village forced them into collecting remains of the farms and their parents are processing as a food which might likely be injurious to their health.

    Read Also: VIDEO: Interview with small holder farmers in Kano by AgroClimate TV

    “My father is dead and my mother is taking care of us. She too usually comes for this kind of job. But since I started growing, she has been sending me to scout for food. It is not easy, we hardly get one Mudu in a day. But we have no any other option,” the young boy lamented.

    A widow and mother of seven, Rahama Sa’idu said she could not send her children to work in the farms because she was strong enough to do it for herself.

    Although her late husband left behind some farm lands, they have no option than to hire them out, as they don’t have capital to invest in the farms.

    “I lease out the farms and pay for other needs, I don’t have much capital to invest in the farms. Fertilizer is costly, likewise the farm labour. But with this job, I can get little to feed my children.”

    “I have seven kids left behind by my late husband. Though I am still not old, I cannot marry again because I have to take care of the children. The responsibility on my shoulder is much. I have to come to the bush and scout for food everyday,” she said.

    An elderly woman, Hama Abdullahi said the situation in her village was hard and unbearable for old people like her. She said in a day they could get up to 5 Mudus during harvesting period adding that people should reason with the parents sending their children to the farms because they were doing that unwillingly.

    “I don’t blame them, even me If I didn’t do this I cannot survive. These young girls you are seeing, they have to do this work to ensure continuous survival of their families and get something in preparation for their weddings,” she said.

    Hama Abdullahi in the farm. Photo Credit: AgroClimateNews

    According to statistics by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, there are about 38 million smallholder farmers in Nigeria which equals to 20% of the country’s population.

    The statistics also revealed that 70% of Nigeria smallholder farmers are women, while men constitute the remaining 30%.

    However, despite several interventions for farmers in villages by non governmental organizations, state and federal governments, people are finding it very difficult to properly cultivate their farm lands or even get something to eat.

    It was gathered that among factors contributing to the hardship especially in the rural areas are flooding, pest attacks and cost of farming inputs.

    AgroClimateNews gathered that the smallholder farmers are always declining and phasing out of the system. Majority of them are giving out their farms on loans to other people, as they cannot afford the cost of farm inputs in the country.

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