Agric Minister Assures Of Lower Food Prices in 2024
By Grace Samuel
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, has assures the Nigerian masses of lower food prices this year. The Minister also expressed his determination to address the issue of skyrocketing food prices in the country.
Kyari acknowledged the excessively high cost of food commodities during the festive period as propelled by inflation.
Recall that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had reported a food inflation rate of 32.84% in November 2023, which is the highest in the last two decades in Nigeria
In a joint statement released on Monday by Kyari and the Minister of State, Aliyu Abdullahi, the Minister noted with concern, the hardships which Nigerian have to go through during the yueltide season in providing food for their families.
“We have received numerous complaints from citizens about the exorbitant prices of food items and the diminishing purchasing power of the people during this festive season. We heard citizens’ complaints about the cost of food items and citizens’ diminished purchasing power during this festive season.”
“We want to reassure Nigerians that we are aware of their concerns and are making every effort to halt the long-term, high trend of food inflation.
“Along with availability, accessibility, sustainability, and nutrition, affordability is a crucial indicator of food security. We acknowledge that factors such as currency rate volatility, infrastructural constraints, and transportation costs have an impact on food affordability, particularly when it comes to the imported portion of our food needs.
“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is increasing domestic production of staple crops, which is good news. The start of the dry season farming in November 2023 which will focus on wheat, rice, maize, and cassava has hastened this.
“We hereby urge farmers to persist in following the knowledgeable counsel provided by Extension Service Agents,” the joint statement read in part.
The minister noted that solving food price problems entails formalizing the protocols and procedures for cultivating the enormous tracts of arable land that are presently uncultivated and in the ownership of Federal establishments and institutions in order to greatly boost agricultural output in safer settings.
“Additionally, we will move forward with the Bank of Agriculture’s reform, ultimately aiming to make it possible for legitimate farmers to obtain loans at reasonable rates. In addition, insurance for participants in the agriculture and food security sectors would be increased.
“We also intend to increase aquaculture, agro-forestry, poultry and related businesses, and animal husbandry,” the statement read.
The minister urged everyone involved in agriculture and food security to take advantage of the opportunities and prospects that the new year brings.
They also mentioned that in addition to concluding the dry season farming, which began in November 2023, they would also be engaging in full wet season farming.