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5 Major Reasons for Farmers Unstable incomes or Finances

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REASONS FOR FARMERS UNSTABLE INCOMES To THEIR FINANCES

Farmers in West Africa are faced with problems of unstable incomes. In certain periods of years, their incomes will be high.   Since their incomes fluctuate, they find it difficult to plan adequately for the future finances.

Farmers unstable incomes are attributed to the factors which bring about imbalance between the demand for and the supply of agricultural products.


 Factors accounting for farmers unstable finances (incomes) include:

1. THE VAGARIES OF THE WEATHER: 

Changes in weather conditions affect agricultural productivity and also affect the income of farmers. There are some days when there would be unfavorable weather conditions such as drought. At other times, there would be excess rainfall. All these destroyed crops and cause poor yields. The income of farmers would therefore below.

During all the years there may be favourable weather conditions, adequate rainfall and moderate temperatures, resulting in a good growth of crops. There would be a good harvest and a relatively high income for farmers.


2. THE EFFECT OF DISEASES AND PEST:

Attack on crops and livestock by pest and diseases during certain years or seasons and their absence at other Seasons or years leads to fluctuating incomes. During periods of pest and diseases, very many agricultural products are destroyed before harvest time. This results in a poor yield. The recent attack on cassava by mealybugs has resulted in poor harvest. There are some days when locusts invade farms and  destroyed crops.

 However, during some other years or Seasons, there may be few attacks on crops by pest and diseases. Yields in such years will be higher and farmers income will be high too.


3. POOR STORAGE FACILITIES:

Inadequate storage facilities for most agricultural products results in a fluctuation in farmers incomes. Good storage facilities are either non-existent or too few in many areas. Since most farmers do not make use of adequate storage facilities, most of their products may get spoilt.

Their incomes would be low if many of their products as point. Inadequate storage facilities largely account for the Farmers having surplus produce for sale during the crop season and a shortage of such commodities during the off-season. During the crop season prices are low why during the off-season prices are high. Farmers incomes therefore fluctuate.


4. CHANGES IN DEMAND FOR AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS:

The demand for agricultural products (especially export crops) is on a downward trend in the world market. This is due to the development of substitute by importing countries, and the deteriorating world economy. A fall in demand for agricultural products leads to Falling prices and a fall in farmers incomes.

But if their demand for certain agricultural products increases, their prices will increase and the Farmers incomes will be high to boost their finance. The recent boom in cocoa exports has led to an increase in the income of cocoa farmers.


5. MONOCROPPING OR RELIANCE ON SINGLE CROPS:

Some farmers rely heavily on the production of single crops. Swatch farmers suffer more from income fluctuation. A fall in agricultural  production due to various reasons leads to a drastic reduction in Finances.

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