PIND, MADE Iden­tify Green Shoots as Nige­ria Re­sponds to Tough Eco­nomic Times

THISDAY - - NEWSXTRA -

The Foun­da­tion for Part­ner­ship Ini­tia­tives in the Niger Delta (PIND) and Mar­ket De­vel­op­ment in the Niger Delta (MADE) Pro­gramme have iden­ti­fied strate­gic pol­icy ini­tia­tives in agri­cul­ture to ad­dress the cur­rent eco­nomic chal­lenges con­fronting Nige­ria, cre­ate em­ploy­ment and boost in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion.

In the joint re­port that was launched in Abuja last week, the de­vel­op­ment part­ners show­case the im­pact of the de­val­u­a­tion of the naira and em­pha­sise the need for gov­ern­ment and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions with a fo­cus on agri­cul­ture to re­shape in­ter­ven­tions to re­flect the pre­vail­ing eco­nomic re­al­i­ties, es­pe­cially re­lat­ing to the aqua­cul­ture, poul­try, palm oil and cas­sava sec­tors.

The de­val­u­a­tion of the naira was oc­ca­sioned by the drop in crude oil price from above $100 per bar­rel in early 2014 to be­low $30 per bar­rel, and has in­flu­enced mar­ket dy­nam­ics for most farm­ers and agri­cul­tural mar­ket ac­tors, es­pe­cially in the Niger Delta re­gion where PIND and MADE are in­ter­ven­ing.

“The de­val­u­a­tion has led to sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in costs of ma­jor in­puts over the last two years which in­flu­ence costs across all the value chains, forc­ing farm­ers and pro­ces­sors to look in­ward,” the re­port says.

In the aqua­cul­ture value chain, for ex­am­ple, the re­port ob­served: “Cat­fish prices have in­creased, as con­sumers turn to it as an al­ter­na­tive to more ex­pen­sive im­ported fish and poul­try, mean­ing that the farm­ers who have stayed in busi­ness have seen their rev­enues in­crease.”

Ad­di­tion­ally, the cur­rency de­val­u­a­tion has made for­eign feed more ex­pen­sive, cre­at­ing an op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal pro­duc­ers to meet de­mand.

In the cas­sava value chain, the study finds that the in­crease in the prices that mar­ket ac­tors in the Niger Delta re­ceive for their prod­ucts is higher than the in­crease in in­put prices, mean­ing that the naira’s de­val­u­a­tion has been pos­i­tive for most mar­ket ac­tors.

The re­port also ex­plained that de­mand for cas­sava from the food sec­tor has in­creased as the price of im­ported rice, a ma­jor sub­sti­tute for cas­sava food prod­ucts, more than dou­bled be­tween 2015 and the be­gin­ning of 2017. Rice im­ports have dropped by about two mil­lion tons since the de­val­u­a­tion.

L-R: Kebbi State Gover­nor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Act­ing Pres­i­dent, Pro­fes­sor Yemi Os­in­bajo; and Sokoto State, Gover­nor Aminu Waziri Tam­buwal, when the act­ing pres­i­dent was re­ceived at the Sul­tan Abubakar III In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Sokoto on his way to Zam­fara State for a one-day work­ing visit....yes­ter­day

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