The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, has revealed factors that contributed to the consecutive surge of food inflation in 2023.
Recall that THE WHISTLER earlier reported that the food inflation rate in October 2023 was 31.52 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 7.80 per cent higher compared to the rate recorded in October 2022 at 23.72 per cent.
However, the surge has been consistent in the last ten months of 2023.
Kyari in a statement signed by Obe Mabel Principal Officer Information FMAFS, on Tuesday, said following the loss of farm product in 2022 from erosion, farmers decided to opt out of farming. This, according to him, led to the rise in food inflation in 2023.
The FMAFS boss said, “Farmers had been heavily impacted by the flood in the past farming season. To mitigate their losses, they opted not to farm during this 2023 wet season, which contributed to food inflation.
“This was compounded earlier in the year by the Naira redesign policy which came into full force during the harvest season earlier this year.
“Also, Market intelligence indicated that farmers sold their produce at give-away prices. This explains why the Federal Government opted to subsidize inputs for farmers in 2023 dry season farming by taking advantage of the African Development Bank facility”.
Kyari also noted that to harness the potential of the 50 per cent farm input subsidy, the FG was working towards “Reforming Bank of Agriculture, National Agriculture Development Fund and Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation to deal with farmers’ access to credit facility”.
Kyari advocated for local cultivation of wheat since it is in high demand for confectionaries and other daily needs, boost food security and improve the economic fortunes of farmers pointing out that its importation will deplete the country’s foreign exchange.
THE WHISTLER had reported that the cost of a 50 per cent subsidy on the production of wheat on 250,000 hectares may cost the FG N45 billion in the 2023/2024 dry season.
“With the declaration of emergency on food security by the President, the focus of the Ministry is on how to increase yield using the available land for both dry and wet season farming. We are providing free wheat seeds to farmers while fertilizer is subsidized at 50% to enable farmers to have access” Kyari assured.
He further revealed that the Ministry was deploying technology to harvest flood water for dry-season farming.
FG Blames Naira Redesign Policy, Flooding, Erosion For Rising Food Prices In Nigeria is first published on The Whistler Newspaper