West Africa: Niger Farmers Groan Over Rising Cost of Yam Seedlings

As farmers begin preparation for the next planting season, farmers in Niger State have lamented the rising cost of yam seedlings in the market.

A yam dealer in Paiko market, Salihu Yahaya, told Daily Trust on Sunday that 100 tubers of yam, popularly known as 'kwariya' was between N100,000 and N130,000, depending on the size.

"It depends on the size of yams you want to buy. But as it is now, the price of yam seedlings is from N100,000 upward. We have yams of N100,000, N110,000, N120,000 and N130,000, but they all depend on size and quality," he said.

Our correspondent who also checked Gunu weekly market on Tuesdays reports that kwariya is between N80,000 and N150,000, depending on the size.

One of the sellers in Gunu market, Alhaji Musa Hussaini, attributed the high cost to the cost of chemicals and fertilisers.

"The cost cannot stop us from farming, but we will not be able to cultivate as much as we used to. If you look at the farming of yam, it has a lot of risks now. First, lands are no longer fertile to achieve high yield and fertilisers are no longer affordable. So, sometime you spend a lot without recording high yield," he said.

He said that years ago,100 tubers cost between N15,000 and N35,000, but the rising cost of farm inputs, such as fertilisers and chemicals, affected the sale of commodities.

Also of concern to yam farmers is infertility on lands, which they lamented did not allow high yield again.

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