Price hike: Prolonged dry season hitting farmers hard but gov’t trying to cushion fallout
The price of fruits and vegetables on the market has increased substantially in some cases and the hike in prices has been attributed to, in large part, the prolonged dry season.
This is according to President Dr. Irfaan Ali who told reporters on Monday that this lengthy dry season has challenged farmers while the agriculture sector is already dealing with external challenges like the increase in the cost of fertilisers.
In fact, he said the lengthy dry season resulted in lower farm yields, much less water and even entire areas under cultivation burnt. All in all, farmers have been hard-hit.
And Dr. Ali said it is projected that these dry conditions will continue until next year.
“The second crop would also be affected because the dry season continues.
“… so we are working with farmers so their input costs would come down,” Dr. Ali told reporters.
What the government has been attempting to do is cushion the effects of the dry season and other external shocks that force farmers to drive up the price for their produce. The President said an example of the support benign provided is the farmers’ fertiliser programme.
Earlier this month, Dr. Ali announced that $850 million was set aside for the purchase of fertilisers to distribute to farmers. This is expected to benefit about 35,000 farmers who occupy about 287,000 acres of land.
Similar support was offered to farmers in 2022.
While the government cannot do much to control the climate or external shocks, the Head of State assured the public that the government is trying its best to cushion the fallout.
Aside from support for farmers, he said government is working to control inflation rates and organise farmers’ market event so consumers can get produce cheaper than the usual marketplace.