By Premium Times |

National Identity - the building block for economic inclusion

An Agricultural Farmland

Border closures have proven to be a practical means to contain and limit the spread of the coronavirus in most countries. However, the restricted movement that results from state and national border closures hinders the effective flow of supply chains and distribution channels. This is especially relevant in the agricultural sector where market linkages have been broken, leading to higher levels of waste on farms, food shortages and price hikes in the urban markets. National border closures have also reinforced the importance of local production and food security. But how can we ensure that smallholder farmers are able to operate efficiently and effectively to ensure our nation’s food security?

The agriculture industry is as reliant on changing weather patterns and seasons, as it is on free movement – of farmers, inputs and produce. When Oriyomi plants his yams on his farm in Akure in November, he travels from his hometown in Oyo; it often takes him a few weeks to complete the planting. But once this is done, he returns to his family in Oyo. Approximately six months later, the time comes for the harvest, and Oriyomi must return to Akure. Ordinarily, this process would require nothing more than transport fare, and a few days. This straightforward activity is now hindered by closed state borders, police checkpoints, and the increased requirement for Oriyomi to prove that he is a farmer.