In an effort to crash the prices of food and reduce hunger, the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, on Tuesday called for an all year round subsidy on farm inputs, increased mechanization, and others so as to reduce the trend of food inflation.
AgroNigeria gathered that the National President, AFAN, Arc Ibrahim Kabir, stated that the food inflation has been a big concern to the Association which serves as the apex body of Nigerian farmers.
According to Ibrahim, farmers at this point need more attention to ensure they feed the over 200 million mouths on a daily basis.
While speaking in response to the recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, which indicated that the total average food price for the 43 food items rose by 31.5 percent to N51,414.1 from N39,108.5, Kabir revealed that the issue of tackling high food prices should be largely addressed from the local and state government levels, where there are more farmers.
He said synergy should be formed between the Federal, State and Local Governments to ensure high production of food together with the private sector to achieve the expected outputs along various value chains in the agricultural sector in order to boost food security, while creating jobs for the teeming youth population.
In his words: “The simple law of demand and supply tends not to work seamlessly in an economy that faces serious food inflation because intervening by buying on contract in order to accentuate the supply chain exacerbates inflation.
“Today, the provision of palliatives to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy has caused the government to buy in the middle of inflation, which clearly makes prices go up thereby making things worse for the majority of Nigerians.
“The only foreseeable remedy is to support the farmers to scale their productivity all year round by providing subsidies on all inputs, providing increased mechanization, STI and sustainable access to credit.”
The AFAN boss further urged President Bola Tinubu to implement National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy, NATIP, basically aimed to bring about long-lasting economic and social change through public and private sector investments in agriculture and rural development.
“The Tinubu administration should implement the current National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy, NATIP, transparently and ensure close monitoring and evaluation.
“The government should also continue to engage all the stakeholders in the agricultural space constantly as well as constructively,” he said.
The federal government, he explained, can attract investors into the agricultural sector with incentives and also incentivize those who are already investing in the sector.
He also said the ease of doing business should be prioritized, implemented and sustained as a platform to boost food production, reduce high food prices and create jobs.
“The large population of Nigeria and its abundant cultivable and irrigable land portends a prosperous investment portfolio for agribusiness so prospective investors should be incentivized by the ease of doing business call or proclamation by the government.
“We should continue to attract the flow of foreign direct investment by liberalizing our agribusiness activities and so both domestic and foreign investors will have a field day going forward,” he submitted.