The change in weather conditions as a result of climate change is hitting Northern Nigerian ginger farmers the hardest resulting in the loss of income and rendering them poor.
Farmers in Kaduna, north-west Nigeria in different accounts narrated how the change in weather as a result of climate change has negatively impacted their ginger farms. They attributed the fungi disease that has since destroyed their ginger seeds to a change in weather conditions that created a fertile ground for the fungi to grow.
The farmers who cultivate ginger on a large scale at the Jema’a, Kachia, Kagarko, and Jaba Local Government Areas of Kaduna state who spoke on different occasions gave similar accounts of how they invested a huge amount of money on their ginger farms.
The local governments where people converge to buy ginger in large quantities, now struggle to make the product available for sale. A situation they attributed to the effect of climate change.
The farmers who explained how they had made efforts to address what they described as an ugly incident say they had spent huge amounts of money buying chemicals to apply on their respective farms. They, however, disclosed that despite their efforts, they were unable to save their ginger farms from destruction by the fungi.
Mr. Yohana, who claims to be one of the affected farmers, told MAWA-Foundation that he lost over N15 million to fungi that destroyed his ginger farm in Kaduna.
Explaining the incident, Yohana said the fungi make the ginger leaf turn brown before killing the crop.
Another farmer, Mr. Mathew, who has a good knowledge of the incident and spoke to MAWA-Foundation via a telephone conversation, said a huge number of ginger farmers in his area had their ginger farms destroyed by fungi that began eating up ginger as a result of climate change.
According to Mathew, farmers in Kachia and Kagarko Local Government Areas of Kaduna state are the worst hit.
“Ginger Farmers in Kachia and Kagarko as well as other communities in Kaduna state have been hit by Climate Change. They are losing their farms and money to its consequences on them,” Mathew said.
“Among the circle of my friends, I know about three persons who lost N5 million, N10 million and N18 million respectively as a result of climate change that led to the breeding of fungi that destroyed their farms,” Mathew told MAWA.
A senior official at the Kaduna State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, who spoke to MAWA about the incident, confirmed the development. He, however, said that Kaduna is not the only state in Northern Nigeria where farmers are suffering climate change impact.
“Many farmers in Northern Nigeria are suffering huge climate change impact as a result of weather change with farmers being the worst hit,” the official said.
He pointed out that the Kaduna state government is working with the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture to address climate change’s impact on the farmers.