The price of rice in Nigeria has increased beyond the reach of the common people. The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), advised the federal government to purchase processed rice sold at CBN and RFAN events in order to attain food sufficiency.
The rice should be sold directly to Nigerians at a subsidized rate in order to level the impact of rising prices.
The National President of AFAN, Kabir Ibrahim, disclosed this in his address while paying a courtesy call on the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar, in Abuja.
He added that despite trillions of naira having been spent on Anchor’s Borrowers Programme to secure rice production in the country, the government should waste no time in coming to the aid of the common people in the country.
He explained that it was time for President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to resuscitate the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) and Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) in order to bring succor to Nigerians.
According to him, the Buhari administration may have made efforts and solid achievements in agriculture via various agric interventions and policies, but Nigerians are complaining bitterly of food shortage, rising food prices, austerity, and food inflation, which if not addressed properly and immediately, could defeat all the investments made in the country’s agric sector.
“It is with great pleasure that we come to express our solidarity with you and the Buhari administration over the efforts and solid achievements in agriculture.”
“Agriculture is today on the front burner of the general discourse in Nigeria with the promise of ushering the attainment of food security and an eventual sustainable agricultural economy that will also ensure an alternative to the oil-dependent economy currently going through several challenges.”
“However, the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) should be resuscitated immediately, beginning with the rice displayed in the recent event organized by CBN and RFAN.”
“The processed rice by accredited millers should be bought directly and sold to the public at a subsidized price that’s resuscitating the Guaranteed Minimum Price too.”
Speaking further, the AFAN national president said the various interventions by CBN, donor organizations, the several Acts such as bio-safety, soil science, fertilizer, NASC 2019, PVP 2021, ARCN 2021, NADF, NFRA awaiting assent, were all supported by AFAN at the public hearings in NASS.
He, however, suggested that the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP) recently validated and soon to be launched should be properly implemented with stakeholders like AFAN fully involved to make mechanized farming successful in the country.
Ibrahim also explained that all actors in the agriculture space such as the CBN, NALDA, farmers, etc. must work in synergy to really impact Nigeria’s food system.
He said: “FMARD should spearhead an advocacy drive to get all the 36 States plus FCT Abuja to key into the new agricultural policy (NATIP) by convening a proper council on agriculture around mid- March 2022 back to back with the formal launch of NATIP with Mr. President as a special guest.”
“The Minister of Agriculture is to host all farmer organizations in a roundtable prior to the launch of NATIP.”
“The minister is enjoined to reinvigorate the FMARD by making far-reaching restructuring and also evolving a formidable monitoring and evaluation program to ensure proper implementation of the new agricultural policy.”