However, Olateru, who stated that farmers were preparing for the 2022 planting season, denounced the cost of inputs, saying that this could affect farmers’ operations and the prices of their products.
“Chemical prices are now more than triple what they used to be; the same for fertilizers, while land preparation has gone from N5,000 to between N12,000 and N15,000 per hectare,” she said.
Olateru said that the cost of agricultural inputs and other associated factors could increase the cost of food.
“The cost of cultivating the farmland has gotten out of control and this will affect the prices of the items that will be planted,” he said.
The president of AFAN also lamented what he described as sometimes cumbersome procedures for accessing the exchange rate, the non-availability of foreign currency for importing agricultural inputs.
“Another problem is that on everything you import there is a 7.5% VAT that you have to pay. There is also the minimum duty of five percent that you have to pay on the importation of tractors and other things.
“If you add 7.5 percent to five percent, that gives you a 12.5 percent tax on what you’re importing, while the official currency is not available.
“All this will have multiplier effects on the prices of farmers’ products.
“When people complain about high prices for food products, they may not be aware of the factors that drive costs,” he said.
Regarding climate change, Olateru said that on the farmers’ side, the return to the farm was looking good, with a favorable weather forecast, unlike what was obtained in 2021.
“It looks like the weather will favor us this year. I can see NIMET encouraging farmers to start planting now, unlike what they got last year.
According to him, farming has become a profitable enterprise, compared to other aspects of agriculture, in particular livestock farming, which now operates at a loss.