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Deborah

AGRICULTURAL SERVICE(S) AND FOOD ITEMS OPTION(S) IN DEMAND DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN

Background of Study

The COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the nations of the world has resulted to governments of nations enforcing lockdown in order to curtail the spread of the virus. The Federal Government of Nigeria has in the past six (6) weeks enforced lockdown in states like Lagos, Ogun and FCT with an exemption of essential services like food businesses, healthcare-related businesses and workers, etc. Of a truth, farmers, traders, food processors, aggregators, etc. in the agricultural sector were exempted from the restrictions. However, reports show that there has been a strain on the food system. Some of the challenges faced by the agricultural sector are logistics, limited access to markets and farms, price spikes, access to inputs by farmers, amongst others. The effect of the challenges faced by the food system is felt by the residents of the states

In a bid to understand the major food items and agricultural services needed by people this season, Zohee Foods set out to collect data, get insights and make recommendation on how agripreneurs, foodpreneurs and farmers can make food items available this season.

The aim of the survey was to determine the type of agricultural services(s) and food stuffs option(s) people require this season.

2.0    Result and Discussion

2.1    Demography   

The survey is dominated by respondents from Lagos and Ogun state while others are from Osun, Enugu, Delta, Ekiti, Ondo and Oyo states respectively. About 72% of the respondents are within 26-35 years of age; 15% are within15-25 years while 8% and 4% are within 36-45 years and 46-55 years respectively.  

From the survey, it can be discovered that majority (72%) of the respondents are within 26-35 years of age which signifies that the survey is dominated by the youths.

Figure 1: Age Distribution

2.2    Food Items Required During the Lockdown

As shown in Figure 3, it was observed that the major food items required by the respondents are Garri, White rice, Pepper, Cooking oil, Vegetables, Fish, Onions, Eggs, Yam and Fruits. Others include Meat, Indomie/spaghetti, plantain, Yam flour, Semo etc.

Figure 3: Food Stuffs Required during the COVID-19 Lockdown

Furthermore, based on location analysis as shown in Figure 4, it was observed that the major food items required in Lagos state are Garri (41%), White rice (38%), Cooking oil (36%), pepper (36%), beans (35%), vegetables (29%), Fish (29%) Eggs (29%), Onions (27%), Meat (26%), Fruits (29%), yam (25%). In Ogun state, the major food items needed are White rice, Garri, Beans, vegetables, pepper and Fruits.

Figure 4: Distribution of Food Items Required by States

2.3    Other Agricultural Services Needed in the Lockdown

Below are some of the agricultural services needed by the respondents during the COVID-19 Lockdown.

  1. Agricultural investment opportunity
  2. Establishment of Daily Consumables Depot in each ward across the states and country at large. Access to the above must be enhanced by government at a far reduced price.
  3. Provision of planting materials such as seeds, fertilizers etc. to farmers during this lockdown so as to make food available even after the lockdown due to the restrictions of movement
  4. Community deliveries of a particular produce
  5. Increase in mechanized farming
  6. Reduction in cost of fertilizer
  7. Marketing of farm produce

2.4    Home Delivery Option

A significant number (80%) of the respondents stated that they support home delivery this season while about 14% are not sure and 6% do not support home delivery this season. This can be linked to the lockdown, concern for coming in contact with a virus carrier or social distance policy.

Figure 5: Support Home Delivery

3.0    Conclusion

This study concludes that the food items required by people during this COVID-19 pandemic lockdown are Garri, White rice, Pepper, Cooking oil, Vegetables, Fish, Onions, Eggs, Yam and Fruits. Others include Meat, Indomie/spaghetti, plantain, Yam flour, Semo etc. Also, home delivery option is accepted by consumers this period.

Recommendation

  1. Foodpreneurs and agripreneurs should invest more in making available the major food items
  2. The government can make available seedlings or deport where food items from the farmers can be made available for consumption
  3. Foodpreneurs and agripreneurs can partner with logistics companies in delivering food items at consumers’ homes.
  4. There should be improvements on access to farms and markets for rural farmers

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