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.
2.0Result and Discussion
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
2.2Food 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
2.3Other Agricultural Services Needed in the Lockdown
Below are some of the agricultural services needed by the respondents during the COVID-19 Lockdown.
Agricultural investment opportunity
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.
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
Community deliveries of a particular produce
Increase in mechanized farming
Reduction in cost of fertilizer
Marketing of farm produce
2.4Home 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
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.
Foodpreneurs and agripreneurs should invest more in making available the major food items
The government can make available seedlings or deport where food items from the farmers can be made available for consumption
Foodpreneurs and agripreneurs can partner with logistics companies in delivering food items at consumers’ homes.
There should be improvements on access to farms and markets for rural farmers