Agriculture News

Soaring fertilizer prices could lead to food shortages and heightened insecurity

 Irrigation farmers in Borno State say the soaring cost of fertilizer will greatly diminish their harvests and could possibly worsen food insecurity.

The cost of most goods in Nigeria has skyrocketed in recent months, mainly due to the high inflation rate.

The price of fertilizer has also risen since Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia is the world’s biggest exporter of fertilizer.

Farmers told RNI reporter Musa Shettima that the price of fertilizer had more than doubled and had even forced some of them to reduce the size of their farmlands, meaning less produce and higher food prices for consumers – and, in the long run, shortages, which could heighten food insecurity in the state.

Farmer Bunu Bukar said: “I used to farm on a large piece of land but I have had to reduce the size of my farm because of the hike in the price of fertilizer. We used to buy one bag of fertilizer for ₦7,000 but now it costs ₦14,500, more than double the price. I have a family to feed so I cannot afford to buy enough fertilizer for all of my farmland and that’s what made me decide to reduce the size.”

“We don’t know why the price of fertilizer keeps increasing. We even suspected that dealers were hiding stocks so that they could sell it at a higher price later. But even the marketers are complaining that they cannot always get fertilizer. What is making it even harder is that the cost of pesticides has also increased,” said farmer Hassan Muhammad, adding that authorities needed to intervene to help farmers.

Another challenge for farmers who had land in outlying areas was the cost of transporting their harvests to markets. The price of fuel had also increased and was continuing to rise. This added burden also affected the price of food and many consumers simply could not afford even the basics.

Abubakar Tijjani, a fertilizer and pesticide trader, said: “Insecurity is the major cause of the surge in prices. Businesses are still recovering from the insurgency and things are not running as smoothly as they used to. Sometimes even the dealers don’t have fertilizer and we struggle to get it.”

Agriculture expert Hajja Kolo Abba Ajiya said: “If farming inputs, such as fertilizer and pesticides, rise in price they will definitely affect the cost of food. This has adverse implications for farmers whose agricultural activities will be limited as well as consumers because markets will put up the prices of food.

“The government needs to put a check on the costs of agriculture inputs. If the price of these reduce, so will the cost of food. If the prices do not come down, this will in all likelihood increase the cost of food and worsen food insecurity in the state,” she said.

AISHA SD JAMAL                    

About the author

ABAKAR KONGOÏ

ABAKAR KONGOI est un journaliste en langue Boudouma à la Radio Ndarason Internationale. Il a rejoint la RNI le 1er Septembre 2021. Il est attiré par les questions de l’extrémisme, mais aussi de l’économie et de la politique. Ce grand fan du FC BARCELONE est passionné par les sports, notamment le football. Il s’intéresse également aux High-Tech.

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