Mr Africanfarmer Mogaji, Chairman, Agriculture and Agro-Allied Group, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, says low food production and high exchange rate are responsible for continuous hike in food prices.
Mogaji spoke on Tuesday in Lagos while reacting to the continuous hike in food prices across the country.
He said the situation would persist due to low production in 2020 which he claimed was caused by climate change and high foreign exchange rate.
Mogaji said that most of the equipment and implements used in the agricultural sector were imported, thereby having a direct effect on the cost of production.
According to him, food prices would continue to increase because in 2020, Nigeria did not produce enough to feed the country.
“In the South-West, there was no rain in June and July when it was most needed, while there was too much rain in the northern part of the country which destroyed many farmlands.
“The price of the dollar also continues to go up and everything we use in agriculture from seeds, chemicals, fertilizer and equipment, everything is imported.
“As the price of the dollar is going up, what that means is that the cost of inputs is going to be higher,” Mogaji said.
He said that the foreign exchange challenge had also discouraged labourers from coming into the country to take up jobs.
Mogaji said labourers were no longer coming into the country because it was not economically viable to do so due to the volatility of the naira.
“The labourers that used to come to the South-West and parts of the North are no longer doing so. It is no longer economically viable for them to come to Nigeria,” he noted.
Mogaji said that Nigeria should emulate countries like India and China where they provided small equipment for smallholder farmers.
“Unfortunately, we are not adopting the right technology for youths to come into the sector. Most of the equipment we bring in is big equipment, too sophisticated to handle,’’ he said.