Middlemen in agri sector are behind high food costs

Middlemen in agri sector are behind high food costs

Feb 17, 2024, 12:00 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz


As this writer have been saying for decades now, the high prices of food, especially in urban centers, are due to the high logistics costs charged by middlemen, including the toll fees and some highway extortions/ unnecessary charges, along the way.

By the time the food products get to the dry and wet markets, their prices have gone beyond the imagination of farmers (whom they squeezed dry through lower farmgate prices for the crops).

Manipulation on supply– which jacks up prices because of tightness as against the demand for such products– also play a very big part in jacking up prices in the markets.

This is why farmers will always stay poor, and more consumers will be forced to become poor, because of these shrewd middlemen, who become instant billionaires from such callous practices.

Nigeria’s case

In an article by Peter Moses in Daily Trust.com (Nigeria), he quoted Prof. Tajudeen Bameke of the Department of Agricultural Extension of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) that the activities of middlemen in the agricultural sector usually leads to high cost of food in the market

Bameke was among facilitators at a training to empower 3,000 Smallholders’ Vulnerable Farmers in Nigeria’s Southwest and South regions when he urged farmers to add value to their products to make more profit.

Bameke said processing agricultural produce through value addition would reduce exploitation by middlemen and as well reduce the high cost of food in the market.

He said while middlemen rake in so much, the real farmers make little profit on their produce.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security carried out the training in implementing Agriculture For Food and Jobs Creation Programme, AFJP, under the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Scheme of Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

The training and empowerment of famers were carried out simultaneously in the 12 South West and South South States of the Country.

The beneficiaries who were drawn by the respective State Ministry of Agriculture and validated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security were supported with farm inputs to assist and improve their farm production and productivity.

Inputs distributed include Knapsack sprayers, organic fertilisers, herbicides, maize seeds, rice seeds, vegetable seeds like tomato, pepper and okra for homesteads farming. Other Inputs were Day Old Chicks for poultry farmers and fish feeds for fish farmers.

The major objective of the programme was to take the vulnerable Smallholder’s farmers out of poverty by enhancing their productivity through the use of modern Agricultural technologies.

Twelve Resource persons were drawn from the Faculties of Agriculture in the Federal Universities to take the farmers through Good Agricultural Practices that will assist them to become successful commercial farmers.

#Agriculture #FoodCost #Middlemen #Business #OpinYon #WeTakeAStand

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