• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Nigerian farmers expecting big hit surprised by 1.58% agric growth in Q2

Nigerian farmers expecting big hit surprised by 1.58% agric growth in Q2

Nigeria has seen the growth of its agriculture sector slow to 1.58 percent in the second quarter of 2020 owing to disruptions in the food supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a year-on-year basis, the agric sector growth rate decreased marginally by 0.21 percentage points to 1.58 percent in Q2 2020 from 1.79 percent in the second quarter of 2019.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, growth in the sector declined by 0.62percent from 2.2percent growth rate recorded in the first quarter of 2020.

The country’s agricultural activities were greatly impacted as the imposition of an initial lockdown to contain the spread of the virus that has infected 52,227 people and claimed the lives of 2,002 people in Africa’s most populous country, obstructed the farming supply system.

“We are even surprised that the sector recorded growth despite the disruptions and difficulties farmers experienced in the last quarter,” said Ibrahim Kabiru, national president, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN).

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“The pandemic disrupted farming activities, especially during the initial lockdown when farmers could not access their farmlands nor transport their commodities to where they are needed,” he said.

“There was also the issue of insecurity and flash floods. All this affected the agricultural sector, causing growth in the sector to slow,” Kabiru added.

He called on the Federal Government to address issues of insecurity and the rising cost of fertilisers in the country, to ensure that farmers carry their planting activities without any form of fear and prevent a further drop in the sectorial growth in the third quarter.

Despite the government giving exemption to farmers, food processors, distributors, and retailers from the lockdown measures, farmers were unable to access their farmlands and markets, forcing food prices to escalate.

Crop production which has been the main driver of growth in the sector grew at a lower rate of 1.44 percent in q2 2020 from 2.38 percent in q1 2020.

The fishing sub-sector grew 2.26percent in the second quarter from 0.63percent recorded in the previous quarter of 2020.

The forestry subsector declined from 1.71percent in q1 2020 to 1.08percent in q2 2020.

“We were even expecting a lower growth rate because the impact of the pandemic on farming activities and the poultry industry was huge,” said AfricanFarmer Mogaji, chairman-agric group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“This shows that the sector has great potential to transform our economy if we address lingering problems and provided the needed support to farmers,” he said.