Nigerian farmers says the rising costs of essential farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides resulting from the coronavirus-induced lockdown are affecting their purchasing power as they enter the 2020 planting season.
Farmers have shared that the increased pricing on inputs forced them to consume their reserves during the lockdown and that they have been unable to access soft loans.
Obiora Okafor, a member of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), expressed concern over the difficulties farmers in his association are experiencing. He explained that COVID-19 came at the start of the planting season, noting farmers have found it difficult to obtain good inputs from seed companies due to the movement restrictions in place in major cities.
Worry exists in the industry that pricing increases on farm inputs may have a domino effect should they persist for an extended period of time, upsetting the livelihoods of more than just farmers.
As prices transmit locally, they are anticipated to negatively affect the welfare of net food buyers in the short run, with more serious consequences taking place gradually as the production structure changes.
Beyond this, any further aftermath is difficult to assess given the complex interactions involved among different markets.
Folarin Okelola, spokesperson for the National Agricultural Seed Council of Nigeria (NASC), said the council has not announced any change in seed prices, remarking also that many factors go into determining the prices of any commodities, including inputs.
Okelola reiterated that seeds and other inputs are part of the whole economic chain, and that the difficulty of finding labor has coupled with the fact that transporting goods is more expensive than necessary due to the risk involved, ultimately affecting overall cost.