Nigeria: Soaring Fertilizer, Food Prices Worry Citizens

Many Nigerians, including farmers and produce consumers across the country are groaning under the burden of the hike in prices of fertilizer and foodstuff.

Findings by our reporters in various parts of the country revealed that the rise in prices was connected with scarcity of the items, which has forced people to go for other less expensive alternatives to keep life going.

A visit to markets in Tarka and Garko local government areas of Benue State by our correspondent revealed that a bag of fertilizer is sold for between N10,500 and N10,700.

According to a farmer in Garko, Malam Umar Ganja, most of the farmers have since resolved to use organic manure as fertilizer has gone beyond an average farmer’s reach.

At the High Level and Wadata markets in Makurdi, a 50kg bag of foreign rice now sells for between N16,000 and N17,500 and a 50kg bag of maize goes for N21,000 while a 50kg of MIVA locally produced rice sells for N10, 000.

Also, a 50kg of sorghum now sells for N25,000 and a 50kg of beans goes for N24,500.

The Benue State chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Aondona Hembe Kule, told our correspondent that the delay in making fertiliser available to the end users will result in low production of food crops.

A visit to Dawanau world grains market in Kano State revealed that a 100kg bag of maize is sold at N14, 000, sorghum 100kg at N13,300 while a 100kg bag of millet is sold at N14, 000.

A 100kg bag of beans (big grains) goes at N22,000 while small grains 100kg of beans is sold at N20,000. In the world grains market, a 100kg bag of soya beans is sold at N12,000 while a 50kg of rice is sold at N14,000.

In Lagos State, at LSISA distribution site, Agege, the manager, Mr Funsho Olowo, believed that aside fertilizer, transportation also played a major role in the increasing price of foodstuffs.

He said a 50kg bag of NPK is now sold at N8,000 while Urea has also increased to N8,000.

In Katsina State, Malam Sani Shu’aibu, a farmer in Bakori LGA, said many of them especially those that sold their farm produce as early as January and February were now feeling the brunt of the high cost of the produce in this farming season.

“A bag of sorghum that was sold N4,000 last year now cost N11,000 and maize is now N13,000 against N5,000 last year.

“The scarcity and high cost of foreign rice has affected the cost of our local one which was sold at N14,000 to N16,000 per bag last year but is now N26,000,” said Malam Shu’aibu.

Malam Isma’il Garba, a farmer who is also into the agro-chemicals business in Funtua, Katsina State, said he cultivated 56 bags of maize in the last season which he saved till last week Friday when he sold each bag at N12,500.

For fertilizer, a bag of Urea (Notore) is now N10,000 against N5,000 it was sold last year, while NPK 15:15:15 now costs between N6,700 and N7,000.

However, the recent inauguration of fertilizer sales by the state governor, Aminu Bello Masari, at the rate of N2,700 and N2,500 for Urea and Compound varieties is expected to crash the market price of the produce.

In Kaduna State, all is not well with fertilizer distribution as distributors are selling the commodity at almost double the price approved by government.

Governor Nasir el-Rufai in June, announced that he was removing subsidy on fertilizer to make it available to farmers. He pegged the price at N4,000 for both NPK and Urea which sold for N3,750 and N3,600 the previous year.

But checks by our correspondents revealed that the dealers have defied the wish of the governor as NPK is being sold at the market in Kaduna for N7,000 to N7,200 while Urea is being sold for N9,000 to N9,500.

Source: Daily Trust.