Angry West Darfur farmers picket Sirba Commissioner
Dozens of angry West Darfur farmers gathered in front of the office of the Commissioner of Sirba locality on Tuesday, to demand compensation for damage they claim was caused to their harvest by livestock. The commissioner denies any damage.
The farmers accused the Commissioner of assisting herders to release their livestock onto freshly harvested farms, and demanded compensation for their losses.
A number of farmers told Radio Dabanga that the protest came against the backdrop of destruction and damage of their harvested crops by the herders, who their sheep and cattle out of the stables.
They said the Commissioner gave them 15 days to harvest their crops which they consider unfair as the time is insufficient to harvest their crops.
The Commissioner of Sirba locality, Abdelrahim Saeed, acknowledged the incident and explained that on Tuesday a group of people, “most of them have nothing to do with agriculture, including a the Imam of the Sirba mosque” gathered in front of his office, claiming that there are attacks on the farms.
He said he formed a committee to determine the damage, but the committee found no damage to the farms. The commissioner strongly denied that farmers were given 15 days to harvest their crops.
He explained that the farmers and herders know that January 1 2018 is the deadline for the end of the harvest season.
Farmers from the southern localities of West Kordofan have complained of the spread of locust in their farms which is posing a threat to the production of the current agricultural season.
On Wednesday farmers who spoke to Radio Dabanga said locust has heavily spread in sorghum and millet farms.
A farmer said the most affected areas are Um Jak, Babanousa, Taboun, Kheirat and El Mujlad in the southern localities of the state.
He stressed that the damage has extended in large agricultural areas which may significantly affect the productivity of this season.
He appealed to the West Kordofan Agriculture Ministry to intervene urgently to fight the locust.
The farmers of Habila Project in South Kordofan state have complained of a shortage of labour and increase of harvest costs by nearly 400 percent.
The farmers attributed the shortage of labour to the increase of the area planted with sesame for this year in the project to 80 per cent compared to 20 per cent for sorghum which led to a rise in price by nearly 400 per cent.
Farmers have stressed that this would increase the cost of production inputs and is a disadvantage to farmers.
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