COVID-19: Sales are Dropping, Agribusiness Owners Lament

Some agribusiness owners have decried the effects of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the running of their businesses.

General Manager of Tuns Farms in Osogbo, Osun State, Taofeek Badmus, lamented over the inability of the farm to sell most of its produce because most off-takers were off business.

Badmus noted that the cost of scaling feeds for poultry production has made its sustainability difficult.

“The truth is that we are facing the brunt during this time. The cost of raw materials has seen a steady rise while the cost of the final product has been stagnant,” he said.

The general manager also explained that the closure of hotels, event centres, and functions as occasioned by the pandemic has affected sales of farm products, especially for owners of large farms.

“Sales have reduced drastically. There is also a glut of produce now, and everybody is now forced to sell at lower prices,” he lamented.

“Our experience was particularly painful during the lockdown as we kept on feeding birds and there was no market to sell them,” he added.

Managing Director of Agrecourse Limited, Ayoola Oluga, also holds the same view.

Oluga noted that gains made by farmers following the Federal Government’s closure of Nigeria’s land borders with Benin Republic in 2019 were going down the drains.

Oluga explained that the advent of COVID-19 has seen the emergence of a new set of problems.

He said, “Some farmers have continued to find it difficult to sell their produce, especially fish farmers.

“This is mainly due to the shutdown of the hospitality sector where you find the major off-takers.”

On his part, the national president of the Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN), Rotimi Olibale Oloye, observed that agribusinesses now depend on social events.

“Our product is mostly used for social events, thus the lockdown has very serious negative effects on our business,” Oloye said.

He, however, called on the government to address the problems that have arisen as a result of the pandemic.

“It is essential for the government to work out support for us because most of us are already out of jobs as our entire capitals have gone with the continuous losses recorded in the past three months. The few sales made were at a loss,” he pointed out.



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