Farmers Predict Worsening Food Crises Because Of Insecurity And Subsidy Removal


Farmers foresee tougher times ahead for Nigerians amid the ongoing food inflation crisis in the nation. They attribute the crisis to subsidy removal, which increased transportation costs for agricultural produce, and persistent insecurity, hindering farming activities. Consequently, Nigerians are urged to brace themselves for further increases in food prices, with the crisis likely to persist until August.

The surge in food prices has sparked widespread concern, with the Nigeria Labour Congress citing it as a central argument for demanding higher minimum wages. The National Human Rights Commission highlighted the deteriorating access to nutritious food, particularly among Internally Displaced Persons and vulnerable populations, exacerbating hunger and diminishing overall quality of life.

The Federal Government expressed concern over the continuous surge in food and commodity prices, with protests erupting in Niger and Kano states. Furthermore, Northern traditional rulers and the Nigerian Bar Association decried the adverse effects of fuel subsidy removal, leading to heightened transportation costs and food inflation.

As Nigeria commemorated the 2024 May Day, Organised Labour voiced apprehension regarding rising food prices and fuel shortages, posing a threat to workers' livelihoods. They also bemoaned the economic strain exacerbated by increased electricity tariffs and soaring fuel prices.

In an interview with Saturday, Kabir Ibrahim, the National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, cautioned against hastily opening borders to mass food imports, fearing it could undermine progress in the agricultural sector. He attributed the current price hikes in items like tomatoes, peppers, and yams to seasonal fluctuations, coupled with challenges such as exchange rate volatility and escalating transportation costs.

Dr Yunusa Halidu, the National Secretary of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, highlighted low productivity as a key factor driving the rise in farm produce prices. He emphasized the need for the Federal Government to address the exorbitant costs of farming inputs, including tractors and fertilizers, to enhance production.

Addressing the root causes of the crisis, Ibrahim underscored the importance of government collaboration with farmers to mitigate the ongoing challenges. He stressed the necessity of dialogue and partnership to formulate effective solutions and ensure sustainable food security.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, advocated for the establishment of specialized agricultural institutions across the country to bolster food security efforts. This initiative, comprising amendments to existing legislation and the creation of new agricultural colleges and institutes, aims to promote innovation, mechanization, and research in farming practices.

In response to the crisis, the Ogun State government has implemented various initiatives to combat food insecurity, including supporting farmers with agricultural inputs and infrastructure to enhance productivity across the state.

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