Investors in agriculture, especially those engaged in poultry products, aquaculture and vegetables production, among others, are currently groaning under the heavy burden of low patronage due to continued closure of the hospitality industry.
The lockdown-induced closure of hotels, restaurants, barbecue joints, clubs, bars, and other food outlets, as well as the embargo on other social events has impacted negatively on the businesses of farmers who are major suppliers to that sector.
Speaking to Daily Sun on the challenges faced by farmers at this time, the Vice President of Tilapia and Aquaculture Developers Association of Nigeria (TADAN), Nurudeen Tiamiyu, lamented the extent of loss suffered by his sector to the hospitality industry closure.
Tiamiyu stated that aquaculture business is presently not in the best of times as operators hardly make up to 30 per cent of their sales.
According to the TADAN vice president, “the impact has been huge on aquaculture because our greatest market are the restaurants, pepper soup joints, the fast food joints, barbecue people and these are mainly run at night. But because of the lockdown, none of them can open. So we cannot get sales.
“Before now, our strength was in those joints. We have not been having sales because hardly do you have people eating tilapia or catfish in their homes like other imported fishes. So you have fish farmers now having backlog of fishes on their farms.”
Tiamiyu added that fish farmers have incurred huge losses, saying “that’s the biggest problem we’ve had all through this period and we are still not out of the woods.”
A Lagos-based mushroom grower, Mrs. Chi Sola, who also spoke with Daily Sun on the impact of the hospitality industry closure on her sector affirmed that the mushroom growing business has been terribly affected by the closure.