• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Nigerians say protecting farmers from herdsmen attacks is crucial for stabilizing tomato prices

Nigerians say protecting farmers from herdsmen attacks is crucial for stabilizing tomato prices

This year has witnessed a significant rise in the cost of tomatoes, attributed to various factors including pest infestations, high transportation costs, and seasonality.

BusinessDay‘s recent poll BusinessDay JuneTalkExchange poll, has weighed in on these issues, providing a clear picture of the primary causes and potential solutions.

The most prominent cause of the high tomato prices, according to 42.9% of respondents, is the Tuta absoluta insect infestation. This destructive pest has ravaged tomato crops, reducing output and increasing scarcity. Despite being less commonly cited, this factor is critical, as the insect can decimate entire crops if not properly managed.

Seasonality and weather-related issues are close behind, cited by 28.6% of respondents. Adverse weather conditions and natural seasonal variations significantly impact tomato yields, leading to supply shortages and price hikes.

High transportation costs due to increased fuel prices also play a crucial role, as acknowledged by 28.6% of respondents. The escalation in diesel prices has led to higher logistics expenses, which are inevitably passed on to consumers.

When delving into the impact of each factor, respondents were divided. A majority, 57.1%, perceived the impact of the Tuta Absoluta insect as major, while 28.6% believed it had a moderate impact. Only 14.3% considered it to have a minor impact.

In contrast, 71.4% believed that high transportation costs had a major impact on prices. Regarding seasonality and weather issues, opinions were evenly split, with 42.9% considering it a major impact and another 42.9% seeing it as moderate.

Technologies like greenhouses and screenhouses are seen as potential stabilizers for tomato prices but their effectiveness is debated. While 28.6% of respondents find them very effective, a significant 42.9% deem them not effective.

Another 14.3% believe they are somewhat effective, and 14.3% feel they lack enough information to form an opinion.

This division suggests that while controlled environment agriculture holds promise, its implementation and efficacy may vary widely based on context and execution.

For long-term stability in tomato prices, respondents suggest multiple approaches. Improving transportation and logistics (28.6%) and Implementing better planning and forecasting for seasonal variations (28.6%) are seen as viable.

Other possible solutions from our correspondent include Implementing better planning and forecasting for seasonal variations, and Insecurity is a major problem to tomato production and high food inflation

Further opinions shared by our correspondents are “The lives and property of the farmers need to be protected at all costs against any attack from herdsmen.”

“Insecurity is a major problem to both tomato and other crops’ production in Nigeria, leading to scarcity and high food inflation.”

“The government should use all the research from professors of Agriculture in Nigeria to practically tackle this perennial tomato problem.”

Take a look at previous poll results.