FG Initiates Massive Rice Production to Counter Rising Food Prices

Forex Supply For Food Importation Rise By 35.28%

In a bid to address the soaring food prices affecting the nation, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, announced on Friday that the Federal Government has launched an extensive food crop production initiative. The primary goal is to curb food inflation, identified as a key contributor to the overall inflationary trend in Nigeria’s economy.

Kyari shared this information with journalists after hosting the Governor of Jigawa State, Umar Namadi, at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security headquarters in Abuja. Emphasizing the need to tackle food inflation, the minister outlined the government’s plan to achieve significant food production, with a focus on rice cultivation.

“We have programs to ensure massive production of food so that food will be available for the country in line with Mr. President’s agenda on food security. We also intend to massively produce so as to bring down food inflation. This is because today, the number one driver of inflation in the economy is food inflation,” stated Kyari.

In response to questions regarding the timeline for program delivery, Kyari assured that the ministry had already initiated the process. He indicated that within the next three weeks, all necessary arrangements would be in place to kickstart the ambitious food production initiative.

When asked about the anticipated impact on food prices, Kyari explained, “It is based on the market forces of supply and demand. So if we increase supply, definitely there will be an impact.” He emphasized the government’s commitment to augmenting the food supply, expressing confidence in a positive influence on the cost of food items across the country.

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for November 2023, released by the National Bureau of Statistics in December 2023, revealed a food inflation rate of 32.84 percent in Nigeria. This surge was particularly notable in Kogi, Kwara, and Rivers, where food inflation reached 41.29 percent, 40.72 percent, and 40.22 percent, respectively.

The report attributed the rise in food prices to increases in the costs of bread and cereals, oil and fat, potatoes, yam, and other tubers, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables, and coffee, tea, and cocoa. Despite the challenges, Kyari expressed confidence in the government’s ability to achieve the set target, acknowledging the impressive performance of Jigawa State in food production. Monitoring teams are being deployed to assess progress in other states.

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