Happening Globally

Farmers Blame High Cost Of Food On Transportation

The high cost of transportation has been identified as one of the major factors contributing to the rising cost of food crops and other farm produce across the country. On several occasions, farmers have expressed frustration over the development, as they struggle to move their harvests to markets and warehouses. Investigations showed that a good number of times, some farmers had been forced to abandon their produce to rot away at the farm gates, as they couldn’t cope with the cost of transportation, a development that has negatively impacted price of goods. For instance, the price of staple crops like cassava, fruits, vegetables and yam among others has increased astronomically in the last one year and still increasing. A trader, Mrs. Esther Adeniji, disclosed to The Guardian that the hike in food prices has spread to every part of the country. She added that the situation has worsened the standard of living of many families and households, who have been battling the economic downturn in the country. One of the fresh produce drivers, John Onah, attributed the problem to bad state of roads caused by flooding. “The roads are completely bad, and it gets even worse while driving at night when you don’t have the full view of the flooded roads. Most times, driving through those areas is like driving with your eyes closed. “In the last few weeks, we have witnessed heavy rain that had led to flooding of the roads, leaving the drivers and farmers in serious dilemma. I usually pity the farmers who are almost stranded whenever I couldn’t make it to their farms. With the heavy rainfall and ensuing flooding in the last few weeks, it has been serious struggle and we have to find alternative routes, which make it longer to get to our destination.” Another driver, Patrick Obiaku, said the incessant breakdown of vehicles due to sorry state of roads had contributed immensely to high cost of transportation. “If there are good and motorable roads, frankly speaking, we’ll not be experiencing the frequent breakdown and high cost of vehicle maintenance. There are particular areas that are not advisable for vehicles to drive through, but because there are no alternative routes, we’ll be forced to drive through in order to put food on our tables.” Another motorist who doesn’t want his name mentioned, said: “This development, coupled with the incessant increase in the price of fuel and multiple checkpoints on the road, forced us to jerk up cost of transporting farm produce. The multiply effect of this is the high cost of goods. It is the consumers that are bearing that brunt.” A trader at the popular Daleko market, Isolo, Lagos, Mr. Emeka, lamented that the high cost of transportation is already impacting his business. “I get most of my food items from the North. Transporting a bag of grain has risen to between N3, 500 to N4, 000, irrespective of the quantity you are buying. “At times, we might schedule the goods to arrive within three days, but because of the rain, it might get here after a week. “I am advising the government to help us find a solution to these challenges so that the masses can have access to the food they need, regardless of the season of the year.”

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