Over the last few weeks, the global stock markets have been swinging wildly due to uncertainty about the economic impact of Covid-19, and there is massive speculation that this will continue to intensify over the next several months. Globally, we know coronavirus to be a contagious disease that began in Wuhan, and in the province of Hubei, China. Discovered initially sometime last year, the coronavirus has become a dangerous pandemic that has spread out to at least 75 countries and has claimed approximately 3,000 lives. Amid this chaos, the world is up in arms about germs, preserving life, and ensuring that everything gets appropriately sanitized. In the past, diseases such as Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) all had negative impacts on food security as well as farming and agriculture as a whole. With the present pandemic, some of the questions that people are asking are whether or not the epidemic will have a severe impact on food production, animal farming, and every other thing as it pertains to agriculture.
The western world has seen a deep plunge in the stock market, and every other significant phenomenon seems to be going downhill from the way that we interact with one another to the measures that we are taking into perspective to ensure health and wellness. Because a lot of African agricultural markets have a lot of access to the farm market in China, there seems to be a lot of unrest among local farmers. As the disease and it’s deadly effects continue to unravel, there is a high possibility that the pandemic crisis will result in a crippling economy that will cause a domino effect globally. In Nigeria, traders within the niche of Agriculture, as well as outside the niche of agriculture, have begun to feel the impact of the disease that originated in China. Nigeria, a recently booming society, has seen the bountiful growth of its economy, mostly due to the import and export of goods from one of the world’s mega countries for trade. Many traders have begun to lament that most of the items that they are currently selling are the goods that they acquired before the deadly outbreak.
In addition to the downfall of the agricultural economy, many agricultural traders are also worried that the price increase will ruin the import and export structure set in place between the Nigerian and Chinese markets.
Farmers, regardless of their specialty, have a valid reason to be concerned. There are many indications that if the global economic growth softens to a degree, it is likely that export demand for African agricultural products will suffer. However, it is too early to estimate the magnitude of such losses. Despite the downfall of the global economy and its massive effect on industries, there is a sliver of hope. Like the seasons that come and go, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. One thing that is prevalent farmers worldwide are some of the most resilient people that the world has ever seen, and while the epidemic is causing a lot of social unrest, it is something that farmers, as well as we all, will pull through.
So, community, what are your thoughts? What do you think about all of the frenzies, and what are you doing to protect yourself from all of it? What advice would you give to farmers during this challenging time?