The All Farmers Association of Nigeria has appealed to the Federal Government to compensate farmers for losses recorded during the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria naira redesign and subsequent cash crunch.
The farmers made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Lagos while reviewing the impact of the policy on food production and agribusiness.
They said that the compensation became necessary to encourage farmers to return to the farms.
The farmers said the compensation could be inform of grants, inputs, fertiliser and farm implements.
Dr Femi Oke, AFAN’s Chairman Lagos and South-West Zone, said a lot of their members were affected during the implementation of the policy, thereby disrupting farming activities.
According to Oke, the cashless policy and naira redesign policy of the Federal Government in February affected farmers seriously.
“From what we have seen and heard so far, the loss recorded during the period is huge and on the high side, especially for our members that are into livestock, poultry and piggery and processors.
“If we are to quantify these losses, it runs into billions of naira that we have lost during this period.
“The poultry farmers were the most affected, it was just like the period of the COVID-19 which we experienced in 2020. We pray never to have a repeat of the COVID-19 again because it was a great loss.
“We also discovered that many farmers could not pay their labourers and this became a huge problem.
“Majority of the farms are situated in the rural areas where there is little or no presence of commercial banks so they had to travel long distance and spend more money in order to buy naira from Point-of-Sale operators to pay the farm workers,” he said.
Oke said it was a great problem because many of the farm workers rely on daily payment because they don’t have bank accounts.
“Many farmers could also not transport their farm produce such as pepper, vegetable and other perishable items to the market due to lack of cash and patronage from customers.