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Nigeria’s Agric sector rose by 18.33% in 2022

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By Timothy Akintola

Decline in local and foreign investments blamed on the ravaging insecurity.

In spite of all the incidents that contributively shaped Nigeria’s agricultural sector, the food ratio in the country experienced a major growth, offering fresh hope to farmers in Nigeria for the year 2023. Nigeria, like many other countries across the globe have witnessed failing Agri food systems as a result of climate changes, insecurity, the Russia-Ukraine crisis and other natural disasters. These discrepancies have evidently hindered the growth process of the global agricultural systems. In fact, the World Food Programme (WFP) noted that the global space was facing a food crisis of unprecedented magnitude, the largest in modern history and millions at risk of worsened hunger. Thus, increases the need to salvage the main drivers of this crisis.

Statistics indicated an increase in the number of people facing acute food insecurity with a rate souring from 135 million to 345 million people from 2019. Also, research showed that at least 828 million people globally went to bed hungry every night. According to the survey of the National Bureau of Statistics, the agricultural sector grew by 3.16 percent in the first quarter of 2022, which also was a 0.88 increase from 2021 and a 0.42 decrease when compared to the preceding quarter. Reports showed that it witnessed a 28.90 percent increase on a quarter-on-quarter basis and for the second quarter of 2022 on the year-on-year basis, the sector grew by 13.83.

Increase in food prices causes decline of consumer purchasing powers.

The capital importation rate into the agricultural industry in Nigeria witnessed a 3,161 percent increase from $1.76 million in the first quarter of 2022 to $57.41 million in the second quarter of 2022, indicating an immense growth within the space of 3 months. The value of foreign investment in the country however declined by 99.23 percent from $237.83 million recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021 to $1.76 million. In the Q1 report of the National Bureau of Statistics on Nigeria’s Capital Importation, the decline of local and foreign investment were blamed on the ravaging insecurity.

Importantly, there was a significant increase in the prices of food in 2022. As a result of the consumer’s declining purchasing power, most Nigerians could not afford to celebrate the Yuletide festival. In the early period of 2022, President Mohammadu Buhari unveiled Nigeria’s rice pyramid in Abuja, noting that this would significantly cause the prices of rice to crash. Despite this however, the price of rice has continually surged. Numerous stakeholders believed this unveiling to be a hoax by the government to deceive the impoverished masses.

Ravage insecurity negatively impacts agricultural productivity.

Farmers have raised major concerns as to the widespread insecurity that has ravaged most communities in the North-Eastern region of the country. Also, the higher prices of farming costs are having an effect on the productivity of farmers. Stakeholders have continually urged for the need economic managers in Nigeria to reshape its security architecture to better fight insecurity. Many farmers, due to this ravaging insecurity have been left desolate and unable to return to their farmlands and these have contributed to the surge in food prices. Reports have indicated that recently, farmers have been the main target for kidnapping and killings by bandits. This has caused a significant increase in the prices of food, putting most Nigerians at the risk of starvation.

Dr. Muda Yusuf, the Chief Executive Officer, of the Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprises, in an interview, stated that insecurity was one major menace hindering Nigeria’s food security. He added that many farmers have lost their farms due to the rampant attacks by gunmen, affecting the productivity of the food sector. He again mentioned the flooding that also destroyed many farmlands over the last months and their negative impact on the productivity of the agricultural sector. Importantly, he pointed out that numerous youths had left the rural areas and the farming occupation and with the present farmers ageing, the productivity is again affected.

Kabir advises farmers to incentivize and enhance their production.

The National President of All Farmers in Nigeria, Mr. Kabir Ibrahim however noted that 2022 was not a good year for the agricultural industry. According to him, farmers expected a better harvest in 2022 until the flood incident which ravaged most farmlands. Complaining about the constant cases of insecurity in the North-Eastern parts of the country, he disclosed that insecurity and floods had impacted the productivity level of the food industry. Whilst urging the federal government to institutionalize the Anchor Borrowers Programme, he advised farmers to also incentivize and enhance their production.

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