The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, (AFAN) has requested a special financial allocation for food production and agricultural activities to ensure the availability of food throughout a 14-day extension of the earlier declared lockdown and stay-at-home order to further contain the spread of coronavirus.
The request was made by architect Ibrahim Kabir, the national president of the , AFAN, while speaking with journalists in Abuja regarding the association’s position on the additional 14- days lockdown declared by Nigeria’s president .
Signs have begun to emerge that pressures due to lockdowns are producing impacts to supply chains, such as the disruptions, particularly in the area of logistics, and slowdowns in the shipping industry.
Movement restrictions and road closures are preventing farmers from traveling to markets where they buy inputs and sell products.
The lock down is also reducing the availability of peak-season labor, resulting in food loss, given the accumulation of fresh produce that isn’t being sold.
According to the AFAN president, the request for special financial succor for the sector is necessary and requires prompt facilitation and attention from the government in collaboration with the AFAN in order to ensure unimpeded food production.
Kabir said that the government should begin to draft a post COVID-19 recovery plan to fix the collapsing economy by embarking on short-, medium- and long- term economic programs and policies to reduce the pandemic’s impact on the economy.
“It is a necessary pill,” he said, “but more far reaching palliatives like providing funding for small-business-reactivation and special allocations for food production and other agricultural activities during and after the pandemic .”
Kabir went on to say, “The economic consequences of the lockdown are so enormous that no one is spared. We must develop a strategy for the reinvigoration of the economy to avert famine.”