Sunday, March 11, 2012

Norma's Letter from Jos 8 March 2012: Revived Tensions Slow Farm Operations

Vegetable orders
Thursday, March 8, 2012
From:Norma, Zamani Farms

Hello customers,

It has not been an easy week for us on the farm. All our crops are growing well, and we have some new items for you for next week. We have been battling with rabbits who have been eating our broccoli, both the heads as well as the young seedlings, and with bush rats who are digging up and eating our red radishes. But all of these relatively minor problems are pushed into the background, because the spectre of violence in the rural areas around Jos has returned after some months of peaceful conditions. Over the weekend a woman was killed on her way to the farm at Rim village, in Riyom Local, Government, which is the next local government to the one where the farm is located. Another two women were attacked in another district, one was killed and the other escaped with matchet wounds. The youth in Riyom area then attacked some Fulani herds and killed 47 cows. They also held a demonstration along the Abuja road, and the army closed the road for some hours. Things are now quiet, and we are hoping this is just an isolated incident. But based on past experience we know we have not seen the end of this problem.

These incidents have an real effect on our work on the farm. Our workers have to travel far through the bush to get to work, and of course they are afraid of being attacked. We did not have enough carrots on the farm for your orders this week, so we asked a farmer we know to bring us some to supplement what we have. He was afraid to go to his farm to dig up the carrots, so as a result most of you got only half of the carrots you ordered for today's delivery. One of our former Fulani workers phoned me from Bauchi where he has been living as a refugee since the January 2010 crisis. He was crying. He was very upset about the events, because he had his heart set on returning to work on the farm next week, but we know that with the insecurity and tension this incident has caused this is not possible for now. As usual in these situations, it is the innocent that suffer -- the guilty ones always escape to wreak havoc another time.

Meanwhile we are trying our best to focus on the farm work, and we do have lovely vegetables for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment