Food Price Hike To Continue Till August

By: Adeyemi Lahanmi.

Farmers are predicting further hike in food prices across the country as they are blaming subsidy removal which has increased the cost of transporting farm produce, and the continued  insecurity in farmlands which is hindering  farming as some of the reasons for the food crisis.

According to them this situation will last till August.

While there are concerns being raised from different quarters about the situation, it requires a careful and well laid plan in tackling the issue.

Kabir Ibrahim, the president of National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, cautioned the Federal Government against the knee-jack reaction of opening the borders and flooding the market with imported foods, warning that such a decision could erode the little gains recorded in the agricultural sector.

Ibrahim also explained that the hikes in prices of farm produce such as tomato, pepper, and yam may not be unconnected with the seasonal variations, noting that the prices of some food items usually went up around this period.

He said, “Vegetables, characteristically, will be sold for higher prices at this time, because this is not the season. For those who do open production, the rains will not allow those to germinate very well. So, there is always a scarcity around this time and September. After that, the price will start coming down, because some people who do open production can also bring some.

“So November through January, February, and even March, you’ll find very good prices, but don’t forget the challenges of the exchange rate of the naira. That is also happening. Don’t also discount the cost of transporting the produce.

He stressed that a major factor in the ongoing crisis was the cost of food and not scarcity.

“The question is affordability. It is available but not affordable

The National Human Rights Commission, raised concerns over the rising food crisis in Nigeria, saying that it had worsened access to healthy and nutritious food, especially among Internally Displaced Persons and vulnerable groups, leading to an increase in widespread hunger and low quality of life.

The commission also attributed the situation to several factors, including “insecurity chasing farmers from their farms, coupled with many farmlands submerged in water due to flooding in some parts of the county.”

National Secretary of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Dr Yunusa Halidu, stated how low productivity was the cause of the hike in prices of farm produce noting that the cost of tractors and other tools are expensive noting that government should ensure that the prices come down.

When we talk of inputs, we are talking about tractors and others. They are very expensive, and other inputs such as fertilisers. From last year to now, prices have hovered between N35,000, N45,000 and N50,000, and farmers cannot afford them.

Three to four years ago, tractors cost about N10m to N15m, but today, they cost about N35m to N40m in the same country. Who can afford to buy it?Government can’t buy tractors for famers, and farmers can’t afford to buy tractors. They have to go back to the way of doing it which is our usual culture. That is affecting production.”

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, said that the establishment of more specialised agricultural institutions in the country will accelerate the nation’s quest for food security.

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