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Hardship in Nigeria : FG Moves to Set Prices of Rice, Yam, Garri, Other Items as Food Crisis Worsens

The Nigerian government has declared its intention to regulate the prices of food items amidst soaring food inflation, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari. In response to the escalating cost of food, which has become a significant concern for citizens, Kyari revealed this strategy during a recent announcement in Abuja. This move is part of a broader government effort to combat food inflation and ensure affordability for its population.

 

 

Under various agricultural initiatives, including the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and AgroPocket (NAGS-AP), the government has facilitated the cultivation of significant land areas. Notably, 120,000 hectares of wheat have been cultivated in Jigawa state as part of the African Development Bank (AfDB) supported agriculture scheme, which offers 50% free agriculture to participants.

 

Kyari further disclosed plans to cultivate over 150,000 hectares for rice, maize, and other crops, engaging approximately 300,000 farmers in the process. Additionally, collaborations with world Non-profit organizations aim to fund these endeavors to lower food prices.

 

Addressing the issue of food exports, Kyari emphasized the necessity of regulating exports at national borders to prevent illegal migration and ensure that the government benefits from such activities.

To alleviate immediate concerns over food prices and shortages, the ministry has initiated the distribution of 42,000 tonnes of grains to low-income families. These measures are part of a comprehensive strategy to increase food production, reduce post-harvest losses, and ultimately stabilize food prices in the face of high inflation rates.

 

The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported a headline inflation rate of 29.90% for January 2024, with food inflation significantly contributing to this figure. The AFEX Wet Season Crop Production Report for 2023 highlighted a 37% increase in the cost of rice this year alone, attributed to supply chain disruptions, increased global demand, and the aftermath of the 2022 floods, among other factors. This situation has resulted in a supply gap of about 2 million metric tonnes for rice, underlining the urgency of the government’s interventions.

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