Following the Naira redesign policy executed by the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, the Minister of Agriculture, Senator Abubakar Kyari, has decried its negative impact on farmers.
Kyari, who spoke on Monday in Abuja during the budget defence session of his Ministry before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Agriculture, said the CBN policy created serious damage to farmers in the country.
According to him, the 2024 Budget aims to achieve food security in the country, however, several factors like insecurity and naira redesign policy carried out about a year ago impoverished the farmers and severely threatened food security.
Kyari said: “The cash crunch caused by the Naira redesign made most of the farmers sell their farm produce at give away price for survival since buyers couldn’t access cash to buy the produce from them.
“The policy, which coincided with the harvest season, ended rendering the farmers empty financially.”
Speaking during his remark, Hon. Dahiru Ismaila Haruna from Toro Federal Constituency in Bauchi State, raised the alarm on the urgent need for the Federal Government to address the high rate of hunger in the country largely caused by insecurity.
Haruna said: “Hon. Minister, being from the North East, the picture I’m about to paint shouldn’t be strange to you at all.
“The pathetic picture of people dying of hunger on a daily basis while the majority of those surviving feed once a day.
“Making it worrisome is the fact that even people from neighboring countries like Chad, Niger, Benin Republic and Central Africa are trooping in to mop up the little food, signalling total famine in the area if not urgently addressed by stockpiling the silos.”
Hon. Ademorin Kuye from Shomolu Federal Constituency, Lagos State, on his part wrote off the silos by putting it to the Minister that most of the silos built by President Goodluck Jonathan administration are alleged to have been concession for N20 million each.
The Minister however in his response assured the lawmakers that all issues raised are being addressed and would be decisively addressed in the 2024 fiscal year.
Kyari said food security is the number one out of the 8-point agenda of President Bola Tinubu administration and that the Ministry has repositioned itself for the actualisation of the agenda.
According to him, some of the action plans already being implemented to ensure food security in the country aside securing of the farmlands by security agencies are “certification of available planting materials for some food security crops in readiness for dry season farming.
“Reviewing the mechanisms and processes for delivering fertilizers and agro pesticides input to farmers under a transparent and accountable regime.
Fast track the take off and operations of the National Agricultural Development Fund.
“Implement a joint action plan with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to unlock the huge irrigation potentials of the River Basins Development Authorities and other flood plains in the country to guarantee all year round food production, etc.”