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July 20, 2024
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Traders Blame High Prices of Food Stuff on Insecurity

By: Abdulmalik Adetola Lawal

Traders in Council Market, Moniya, Ibadan, said the increasing cost of food in Nigeria is due to the widespread insecurity plaguing the country.

During a visit to the market on Friday, our reporter spoke with marketers who revealed the factors contributing to the rising cost of food items in Oyo State and across Nigeria.

In a statement, Mr. Taofeek Afolabi, who owns a family business in the market, said the cost of food items lately has been exceptionally unbearable for Nigerians due to insurgency, banditry, and many security challenges facing the country recently.

According to him, the prevailing insecurity has created a climate of fear among farmers, who are now reluctant to tend to their farms and cultivate crops. Even when they muster the courage to do so, they face the risk of being killed or kidnapped while transporting their produce to urban markets for sale or while returning from such trips.

He said the country is seeing one of the hardest phases of food security due to insecurity and that if the government does not take serious action, it might lead to famine.

“The fear of attack or abduction is palpable. Farmers are now too scared to venture into their farms, and those who do, do so with a sense of trepidation. We’ve had cases where farmers were abducted while transporting their produce to the market, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to continue with this way of life.

“The insecurity situation in the country is having a devastating impact on our agricultural sector. We’re seeing a significant decline in food production, and it’s all because farmers are too afraid to do their jobs. It’s a crisis that needs to be addressed urgently, otherwise, we’ll be facing a severe food shortage in the coming months,” Mr. Afolabi lamented.

Another trader, Mrs. Lawal Fatima, complained that the government is lackadaisical towards food security in the country, thus the reason for poor policies in protecting farmers who are feeding the country.

“The government’s failure to protect farmers and ensure their safety is a clear indication of its priorities. When policies prioritize politics over people’s livelihoods, it’s no wonder we’re facing a food security crisis. Farmers are the backbone of our nation’s food system, and it’s shameful that they’re being left to fend for themselves in the face of violence and intimidation.”

The situation in the market denotes that the escalating insecurity in Nigeria continues to take a toll on the country’s food production, as farmers remain reluctant to cultivate crops due to fear of attack or abduction. The Federal Government has pledged to address the issue, but until tangible solutions are implemented, the nation’s food security remains under threat. 

As the situation unfolds, one thing is clear: urgent action is needed to ensure that Nigeria’s agricultural sector – and the millions who depend on it – can thrive once again.

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