Nigeria’s cocoa farmers will pay more for chemicals and other inputs due to currency issues

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IBADAN, Nigeria–Nigerian cocoa farmers will have to pay more for chemicals and other inputs due to the weakening of the national currency, the naira, as well as high transport costs and other factors, it said on Friday traders and dealers in chemicals.

“The cost of chemicals such as fungicides, insecticides and herbicides has increased by at least 50% to 100% due to the devaluation of the naira. Farmers will not be able to afford the inputs,” said Bayo Anifowose, a trader.

He said the naira was trading Friday at an official rate of 415.72 to the dollar from 409 NGN in October, while the parallel rate is currently at 600 NGN to 610 NGN to the dollar from 575 NGN two years ago. month.

Mr Anifowose said the falling naira has pushed up the prices of chemicals and inputs such as machetes and spraying equipment as most of them are imported.

Isaac Ashaolu, a chemical dealer in Ibadan, capital of Oyo state in the southwestern cocoa region, said a 50-gram packet of fungicide used to control black pod disease in cocoa plantations, currently sells for 400 NGN to 410 NGN from 320 NGN to 340 NGN. at the beginning of the year, while a liter of herbicide now costs 4,000 NGN compared to 1,700 NGN in January.

He said a high-quality machete now costs 4,000 NGN, up from 2,000 NGN earlier this year.

“The cost of chemicals has increased dramatically. Farmers are finding it difficult to buy fungicides and other chemicals, especially now that the rainy season has arrived with cocoa susceptible to black pod disease,” said Mr Ashaolu.

He added that importers are also paying higher costs to transport their imported chemicals and other inputs from the Lagos ports to the cocoa producing states due to the increased cost of diesel, which is used by heavy trucks.

Diesel, he said, now costs between NGN 700 and 740 per litre, up from NGN 320 and NGN 400 per liter at the start of the year.

“Farmers could face a tough time during the 2022-23 cocoa season, especially during the harvesting of the main crop if the value of the naira does not improve against the dollar. Such an improvement will bring down the cost of agricultural inputs,” Mr. Anifowose said.


By Obafemi Oredein; Dow Jones Newswire

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