Rising Food Prices: Expert Urges Emergency Measures To Curb Crisis

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News in brief:
- A food entrepreneur has urged the Nigerian government to intervene in the agriculture sector to address rising food prices caused by years of neglect.
– She emphasised the need for urgent food distribution, removal of subsidies, and proposed measures like interest-free loans and modern tools for youth farmers.

In a call echoing concerns across Nigeria, a food entrepreneur has urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the agriculture sector to tackle the crippling issue of rising food prices.

Speaking at the opening of the Crown Fit Food and Beverages Exhibition in Abeokuta, Abimbola Adeyemi, CEO of Crown Fit Cocktails and More, lamented the irony of Nigeria’s inability to feed itself. This, she said, was despite boasting vast arable land and a youthful population. She attributed the current economic hardship faced by Nigerians to years of neglect in the agricultural sector.

Abimbola stated that food distribution is the most urgent first step to ending hunger and poverty in the country. To her, the removal of subsidies and the state of the economy have sent food prices skyrocketing. She called for the Tinubu-led government to act with urgency and declare a state of emergency in agriculture, which should trigger a rapid turnaround with benefits for all Nigerians.

Her appeal resonates with the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that reveals food inflation rate was at 32.84% year-on-year in October 2023. The surge has placed essential food items beyond the reach of many, prompting concerns about food insecurity and malnutrition.

Furthermore, to address the crisis, Adeyemi proposed concrete measures like, providing interest-free loans and readily available farm inputs to youth farmers, and implementing comprehensive training programs and equipping farmers with modern tools and technology.

She also advised that the government prioritise local food production and encourage Nigerians to grow what they eat by promoting ‘Made in Nigeria’ products through patronage and consumer awareness campaigns.

Adeyemi’s proposal aligns with calls from other stakeholders, including farmers’ associations and development experts, who have emphasised the need for emergency interventions to avert a food crisis.

Meanwhile, President Tinubu already declared a state of emergency on food production, months before the latest inflation figures. Also, there have been several federal, state, and local government-level interventions to aid farmers increase domestic production. These efforts are yet to yield visible results.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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