©AfreePress-(Lomé, March 7, 2022)- The agricultural campaign for the year 2022 is being actively prepared in Togo.
In agricultural areas, time is spent weeding the fields by eliminating weeds while waiting for the first rains.
In normal times, this work is easily done thanks to the use of pesticides, which make it possible to work on large areas. Which is quite economical and beneficial to human energy, especially in the face of the challenge of manpower.
But for this new agricultural campaign, things seem to be different for the farmers.
According to information obtained by the AfreePress news agency, the preliminary works, characterized mainly by weeding, are not progressing. This is linked to the soaring prices of herbicides in the market.
“It’s been a nightmare for us this year. The herbicides that we paid 2500 FCFA last year have increased in price to 4500 FCFA this year. In some villages, the price goes up to 5,000 CFA francs, which is double what we spent last year. It is a great desolation. Imagine if the box is 4500 CFA francs while I have to cultivate a field of three hectares knowing that a box is only used for four squares. (One hectare is 16 squares.) If we have to incur these colossal expenses for weeding only, how are we going to do for the ploughing, the seeds, the fertilizers, etc.? ? This price spike was a surprise for us and it will have negative impacts on our productions in 2022,” says Mr. Issifou, a farmer in Alati in Haho prefecture.
Faced with this situation, the majority of farmers resort to financial loans. And their main donors are women, grain product sellers.
“We are used to dealing with them. They are the ones who give us the money so that we can buy these products, which are very expensive now. But after the harvest, they will come back to collect the cereals as the payment of the debt,” explained Issifou.
It is precisely at this level that the danger lurks. Since the loan obtained was invested in the purchase of herbicides at an exorbitant price, the payment will also be made taking into account all these aspects. Consequently, the peasant will inevitably have to deliver the products of his field at a higher price than usual in order to be able to pay his debt.
“Often, we are accused at the time of purchases, that we are cheating the farmers. This is not obvious. If we finance an herbicide for example at 5,000 CFA francs, fertilizer at 20,000 CFA francs. Understand that payment will be based on what has been invested. So the peasant also has to live from his work. He’s not just going to pay the debts and stop living. So the farmer will also increase the price of the products he will sell to us in the villages. And back in town, we will also sell these products according to the purchase price, while taking into account our profit, “suggested for her part, Eli Mawussi, reseller of cereal products at the Agoé Assiyéyé market.
In short, soaring pesticide prices will inevitably lead to soaring cereal product prices when the time comes.
“It will be more complicated if the price of fertilizers is also increased. There, know that the bowl of corn can be sold at 1500 CFA francs. Because we will have no choice. Either we stop cultivating the land to do another job, which will cause famine in the country,” warns Issifou.
The government is invited to take this problem seriously so that the prices of agricultural inputs are reduced in order to avoid the accentuation of the food crisis in Togo.
Anika A. (+22891024439)