Umar Kalo Vsla is a watermelon farmer in Damana community, Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area of Kebbi State. Since he ventured into watermelon cultivation five years ago, he has recorded good returns, selling with good price to buyers coming from various locations across the country and neigbouring countries like Republic of Benin and Niger Republic.
But within few weeks of the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, he has incurred losses to the tune of N1.95m, due to lack of buyers. Sadly, the goods ended as waste.
“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, buyers have ceased. Harvested fruits have ended up as waste. This has put me in a terrible and devastating situation. I invested a lot of money during the last planting season; I sold the two bulls, which I normally use during wet-season farming for ridges. I also sold some of my paddy rice and invested them into the farm, just to make good return. I was expecting a profit of between N1.5m to N2m, but I ended up making only N50, 000. It is very devastating.”