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