POST-COVID 19 EFFECTS ON AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA
When Covid 19 first surfaced in China, then Europe and America; Africans watched as the virus knocked down the heavyweights. Different publications claimed that the coronavirus is not heat tolerant, therefore cannot survive the extreme heat of the African climate. Were they wrong?
Fast-forward from there, the coronavirus sneaked into Africa lackadaisical making huts in the mansions of the elites- politicians, celebrities and millionaires. To the advantage of Africa, the continent has only a handful of the aforementioned. With the understanding that the virus cannot stand the heat of Africa and the elites only making acquaintance with the virus, the masses went on with their daily routine. It’s not affecting them after all.
The 44 year old unnamed Italian man who brought Covid 19 to Nigeria probably didn’t know that in Nigeria, when the elites suffer, the masses cry. After the increasing discoveries, Nigeria shuts down International flights, then land borders, schools, religious gatherings and so on. Restricting movement, interstate travel bans, and unavoidable pain inflicting decisions. While many were sad losing their jobs, poverty escalating, crime rates increasing; no one was thinking it could be worse. Farmers are not farming, the rains are not raining.
Chaos and doom looks as food crises gather storms. The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari although has made it clear that all food related programs are on “essential duties”. But the old are the ones majorly on the farm, and the old are the ones dying. The villagers have refused to farm, the borders cannot be opened, and the weather is not acceptable. Somewhere, a group of young men took courage to farm, ready to take advantage of the food crises. In Kebbi state, one of the least of the States feeling the effects of the Covid 19, farmers discovered they have loads of harvested rice, but no market. Rice Miller’s refuse to mill, as the marketers can’t be found.
The Nigerian gold (maize) cannot be mined. No supply, no demand. Maize is one of the most consistent food crops with the widest value chain, yet, farmers cannot dare. The NIGERIA Agriculture sector is helpless and all who should help are in the shadows. Where should help come from?
Despite the Lockdown ease and partial seaport opening, Agriculture in Nigeria is being grounded. The scarcity of quality farm inputs is frustrating as import delay is making farmers count the ceilings. As long as markets remain closed, farmers would be reluctant to go to work. If the nation relies on the old men to farm, and the young men sitting behind computers, the food crisis will consume us all. Before every food crisis comes the health crisis. Perhaps, it might be Covid 19; but analysts thinks it will be a nutritional crisis with malnutrition, food insecurities and food poisoning as its locus (point of origin)
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Farmers can’t be asked to jump into bushes and start tilling. No, the coronavirus is still rampaging the earth, snuffing life out of people. The AGRO Renewal Movement International is using this opportunity to remind it’s readers and subscribers that food poisoning and insecurity is real, but there must be no panic. The solutions to this crisis are few;
Farmers should take courage and go to farm while observing all ethics of preventing the Covid 19 pandemic by;
Making available of running water on the farm
Providing hand sanitizers and use after contact with suspected persons
Observing social distancing where possible
Enlightening labourers on minimizing of human contact and personal hygiene
Also consumers should avoid the following;
panic buying which can lead to purchase of substandard food produce
get quality market produce from certified green farmers
Source for other sources of income during this period to be financially stable
encourage farmers during this period, knowing full well that politicians, pastors, or religious leaders would not directly avert the looming food crisis. It’s farmers that will still abort these impediments by the grace of God.
In addition to all these, it is imperative that farmers and consumers both remain financially stable so that one would not be tempted to eat or produce under-quality food. Perhaps, one of the ways to achieve this is to invest aright, making incomes through interest from genuine investments. This is another way the Agro Renewal Movement International is helping many to achieve financial freedom. You can key into some of the ARMI Limited investment packages by commenting on this thread or contacting the phone numbers below.
It’s our prayer that you and yours will go through this period unhurt. We pray that you will come out victorious in the name of the Almighty God.
Feed the people… Secure the nation!!!