FG To Crash Food Prices In 180 Days – Minister

FG Targets Rice, Maize, Others, For Year-round Cropping

The federal government yesterday officially unveiled strategic measures aimed at combating the high food prices currently burdening the nation.

Minister of agriculture and food security, Abubakar Kyari who revealed the plans on his verified X account, stated that the measures will be implemented over the next 180 days with the expectation to reduce soaring prices of food items.

The initiatives include; a 150-day Duty-Free import window for food commodities, suspension of duties, tariffs, and taxes on imports of specific food commodities, including maize, husked brown rice, wheat, and cowpeas, through land and sea borders.

According to the minister, these commodities will be subjected to a pricing control regime specifically to be sold at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) to ensure affordability.

The federal government also planned to import 250,000 metric tons of wheat and 250,000 metric tons of maize which will be distributed to small-scale processors and millers nationwide.

Kyari said that the government will engage with relevant stakeholders to set a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) and purchase surplus food commodities to restock the national strategic food reserve among other strategies.

He added that over the next 14 days, the government will finalise the implementation frameworks in collaboration with the Presidential Food Systems Coordinating Unit (PFSCU) and the Economic Management Team (EMT).

The minister further emphasised that the success of these measures hinges on the cooperation and collaboration of all relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and stakeholders.
He reiterated President Tinubu’s commitment to achieving food security and ensuring that no Nigerian goes to bed hungry.

He said, “Our administration has unveiled a series of strategic measures aimed at addressing the high food prices currently affecting our nation. These measures will be implemented over the next 180 days.

They include; 150-day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities suspension of duties, tariffs, and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities through land and sea borders. These commodities include maize, husked brown rice, wheat, and cowpeas”

“Imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP). We understand concerns about the quality of these imports, especially regarding their genetic composition.

The government assures that all standards will be maintained to ensure the safety and quality of food items for consumption.

The federal government will import 250,000 metric tons of wheat and 250,000 metric tons of maize. These semi-processed commodities will be supplied to small-scale processors and millers across the country.”

He continued, “Engagement with relevant stakeholders to set a GMP and purchase surplus food commodities to restock the National Strategic Food Reserve, ramp-Up of Production for the 2024/2025 farming cycle and continued support to smallholder farmers during the ongoing wet season farming through existing government initiatives.

Strengthening and accelerating dry season farming nationwide, embarking on aggressive agricultural mechanisation to reduce drudgery, lower production costs, and boost productivity and collaborating with sub-national entities to identify irrigable lands and increase land under cultivation”.

“Working closely with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to rehabilitate and maintain irrigation facilities under river basin authorities across the federation, developing strategic engagement for youth and women for immediate greenhouse cultivation of horticultural crops such as tomatoes and pepper to increase production volume, stabilise prices, and address food shortages.

Fast-tracking ongoing engagements with the Nigerian Military to rapidly cultivate arable lands under the Defence Farms Scheme and encouraging other para-military establishments to utilise available arable lands for cultivation.

Enhancement of nutrition security, promoting the production of fortified food commodities and supporting the scale-up of the home garden initiative by the Office of the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, the minister added.

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