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How naira design policy negatively impact farming 

By Gbenga Akinfenwa 
17 March 2023   |   3:41 am
This isn’t a good time to be a farmer I must confess. Although the naira design and cashless policies are for the best interest of Nigerians, but its impact on farmers is not what anyone should be forced to bear.”

“This isn’t a good time to be a farmer I must confess. Although the naira design and cashless policies are for the best interest of Nigerians, but its impact on farmers is not what anyone should be forced to bear.”

 
Above is the lamentation of the Chief Executive Officer, Fourteen Farms, Ifeware/Ife areas of Osun State, Mr. Julian Akinremi on the plight of farmers, who have been counting losses in the last few weeks.
 
Aside the fact that transaction of business is limited to only customers with the new naira notes, Akinremi said the challenges with bank transfers made many farms to struggle with sales.  
 
He said, “One transfer can take up to three to four hours on the app before it’s finally done. After that, the waiting game will begin, and in some cases in two to three days the money may not deliver.
 
“We know how fake transfers and fraud has put everyone on red alert in the past. Now, people won’t sell till they see the alert if they can afford to wait (those selling rice, beans etc). For those of us selling chicken, egg, fish, tomatoes etc, the case is totally different and we have to sell even at a loss to prevent the goods from getting spoilt, to reduce the cost of keeping the animals on the farm.
 
“Plantain, banana, cherries etc are gotten daily by people we call alaajapa (middlemen) from farms daily, so they can sell in the local markets, they don’t have bank accounts in many cases, and not all of them can afford to pay N200 for every N1000 they can get in the cities or join the long queue in banks. For those who can afford to pay N200, they still can’t get more than between N2, 000 and N3, 000 at a go. Hence, things have become very difficult.  
 
Akinremi said since farmers can’t keep the perishables harvested, they are forced to sell. “We all know a number of businesses and families live on what they make daily. The situation isn’t palatable for anyone to bear. I had a colleague who said even during COVID-19 the situation wasn’t this complicated.
 
“I have another colleague who is currently under much pressure because consumers are not able to buy Barbecue fishes and chicken from the middlemen because they can’t access new notes, and not accepting transfers because of so many cases of reversed transactions in circulation.  
 
“Coupled with the low electricity supply and high cost of fuel that makes storage expensive, the middlemen feel the only way they can maintain price stability is by reducing purchase price, despite high feed costs.”
 
He regretted that the challenges have reduced profits in animal business, noting that a good number of farmers had to sell and collect the old money because they had no choice.
 
“Now, we are in a fix. Moving around, purchase of fuel to run generators on farms and power motorbikes and other machineries have been very difficult. We hope things get better and more cash is available on time.”