Nigerians may pay more for food in 2019

Nigerians may pay more for food in 2019

Agriculture experts say Nigerians may experience higher food prices in the later part of the year as farmers are yet to commence the 2019 planting season due to the irregular rainfall and intensity of heat weaves in the ecosystem.

Mogaji African Farmer, head of agriculture and agro-allied group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (LCCI) said, “the sun intensity is extremely heavy and we are not having rainfall and so it will affect the availability and sustainability of food across boards.”

“Some farmers that started planting due to the rain that fell in January- February regretted it because the heavy rain swamped the whole area which made them loss their crops and because of that most farmers have delayed their planting because they are being careful,” Mogaji further said.

Earlier in the year, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) which undertakes Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) predicted that the country is expected to experience below normal- to-normal rainfall season.

“The 2019 Seasonal rainfall prediction by NiMet is based on a warm ENSO phase (El Nino year) as predicted by the international ENSO prediction centers,”

“Since there is a very high probability of a warm phase persisting from January to July-August-September season, it is expected that the predominant warm phase will moderately suppress rainfall in the country during this period particularly in the North while normal rainfall is expected from the predicted neutral phase towards the end of the season from September 2019,” the Agency stated in its website.

In Nigeria, there are two distinct seasons namely; rainy and dry season. While the rainy season starts in April and ends in October with generally lower temperatures, the dry season starts off in November and ends in March.

And also planting season varies in the country. In the Northern part, it starts around July-August while the Southern region, it starts around ending March- April.

Aboidun Olorundenro, Operations Manager, Aquashoots Nigeria said that there has not been rainfall making some farmers to give up for the year and those that have planted have gotten their hands burnt because the intense heat withered their crops.

“We are almost in the middle of May and there is no rain. For example, the local farmers will tell you that there is a different time to plant white corn and yellow corn. And some that plant the white corn will tell you that they cannot plant again because even if the rain comes in now, it may not be enough to feed the population,”

“I feel that this may not be food crisis because the government may import food crops into Nigeria but we may pay a little extra.  This is almost the tenth of May and there is no rain,”Olorundenro said.

 

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