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ACAN call FG to action on rising food prices

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By Usman Oladimeji

Government needs to enhance farmers' market opportunities, create policies.

As Nigeria strives to attain self-sufficient food production under President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, the Agriculture Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ACAN) has tasked the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to take immediate action towards achieving the goal. By doing so, the association believes that it will alleviate the burden of expensive food items and the existing hardships faced by Nigerians. ACAN Chairman, Collins Nnabuife, stated that there is a lack of concrete measures taken by the present government to address the challenges in the agricultural and food industry, despite declaring an emergency.

Nnabuife called upon the government to promptly address the prevalent food Insecurity crisis in the nation. Expressing disappointment, he highlighted that reputable global institutions had recently published reports signifying that certain regions within the country were already teetering on the brink of severe hunger. However, he expressed concern that the agriculture Ministers had not taken swift action in implementing crucial policies to combat this pressing issue. He argued that the government must enhance farmers’ market opportunities and encourage the development of value-added processes across the agricultural value chain.

Stakeholders collaboration crucial to promote inclusive participation.

Enabling farmers to tap into local and international markets not only enhances their earnings but also propels Nigeria’s standing in the global agricultural arena. Consequently, advocating for policy transformations that tackle the obstacles of land ownership, obstructive Trade regulations, and bureaucratic hindrances becomes essential in cultivating a favorable atmosphere for agricultural expansion. He further called for youth inclusion and initiatives that entice and involve them in the agricultural sector through education, guidance, and rewards, with the aim of revamping the industry and tackling the issue of an aging farming community.

According to Nnabuife, it is imperative for the Agriculture Ministries, both at the Federal and state levels, to foster collaboration among stakeholders, including Private Sector players, and Civil Society organizations, to promote inclusive participation and achieve a comprehensive and unified approach to agricultural development. Additionally, Nigeria must prioritize programs that prioritize climate-smart agricultural practices in order to boost resilience to climate change, minimize risks, and ensure the Sustainability of agricultural practices. Also, he urged the government to enhance the capabilities of agricultural research institutions to create superior climate-savvy seeds and additional farming tools, aiming to accelerate the growth of Agricultural Productivity.

Year-on-year food inflation rose by 31.52% in October 2023.

In July 2023, Nigeria witnessed a significant surge in Food Prices compared to the corresponding month in the prior year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Notably, it was the prices of unripe plantains, evaporated tin milk and ripe plantains that experienced the most pronounced upsurge. Notably, the cost of one kilogram of unripe plantains recorded a staggering rise of approximately 78 percent in comparison to the previous year, while peak evaporated tin milk witnessed an increase of about 76 percent in its price.

The rate of change in prices for goods and services in October 2023, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), increased to 27.33 percent, indicating a rise from the previous month’s rate of 26.72 percent. According to the report, food Inflation in October 2023 showed a year-on-year increase of 31.52 percent, which was significantly higher by 7.80 percent compared to the rate recorded in October 2022 (23.72 percent). The surge in food inflation on a year-on-year basis was attributed to the rise in price of essential food items such as Bread and cereals, Oil and fat, Potatoes, Yam and other Tubers, Fish, Fruit, Meat, Vegetables, and Milk, Cheese, and Eggs.

Month-on-month food inflation rate was 1.91% in October 2023.

As per the report, Kogi, Kwara, and Lagos experienced the highest food inflation rates during the period, standing at 41.74 percent, 38.48 percent, and 37.37 percent respectively. The NBS also revealed that in October 2023, the month-on-month food inflation rate was 1.91 percent, which indicates a decrease of 0.54 percent from the rate reported in September 2023 (2.45 percent). Fruits, oil and fat, coffee, tea, and cocoa, along with bread and cereals, decrease in their average price increases, leading to a decline in food inflation on a monthly basis.


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