The Nigeria Governors’ Forum has described the 2022 farming season as a serious nightmare for most farmers in the country due to the challenges in the agricultural sector.
It added that the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, excessive rainfall and flooding worsened the challenges facing farmers this year.
In a statement by the NGF on Tuesday, the governor said the challenges occurred despite the amount allocated to agriculture, which gave high hope to farmers and stakeholders in the sector.
The NGF also lamented that many families found it difficult to feed three times a day due to the challenges, adding that cuisines that some families hardly took became regular features in homes.
The statement was titled, ‘Nigerian Agriculture In 2022: The Ups And Downs,’ and signed by the Senior Agricultural Adviser to the NGF, Prof Abba Gambo.
The forum also pointed out the losses suffered by farmers due to the flooding occasioned by the excessive rainfall.
“The rains came much more than NiMET’s forecasts, leading to serious flooding across the country, affecting 34 out of the 36 states, with the FCT least affected. The floods led to massive loss of lives, livestock, properties and farmlands. The much-expected harvest in most states became a mirage. Jigawa State, being the most affected,” it added.
The NGF said that while expectant farmers were waiting for palliatives after the flooding, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced a redesign of the naira note, stating clearly that by January 31, 2023, the present naira in circulation would cease to be a legal tender.
The statement added, “Almost immediately, huge sums of money entered all the major markets of the country. Grains, most especially, were mopped up to the last grain in the markets.
“A bag of millet selling for N8,000 rose to N35,000, sorghum from N12,000.00 to N40,000, rice rose to N45,000.00 per 50kg, even for the locally-produced and milled.
It concluded, “The year 2022 was a great nightmare for most farmers in Nigeria. To feed three times a day became a huge challenge to most families and new cuisines entered Nigerian homes. Indeed, 2022 was a tough year for the agricultural sector, but yet the sector contributed 23 per cent to the national GDP in the Q3 of the year, surpassing oil and gas, manufacturing and telecommunications. We pray for a most benign and pleasant raining season in 2023 and an increment in the agricultural budget of all the three tiers of government.”