The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, announced on Friday that the Federal Government had begun mass production of food crops in order to reduce food prices across the country.
According to The PUNCH, he stated that the government’s goal was to lower food inflation, citing it as the primary cause of Nigeria’s high inflation rate.
Kyari made the announcement to journalists after hosting Jigawa State Governor, Umar Namadi at the offices of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Abuja.
“We have programs to ensure massive food production so that food will be available for the country in line with Mr. President’s agenda on food security, we also want to manufacture in large quantities in order to reduce food inflation,” he said.
“This is because food inflation is the number one driver of inflation in the economy today. As a result, we want to work tirelessly in order to grow significantly. Mr. President has provided us with the assistance we require, and we intend to complete the project, beginning with rice production.
“We have already begun. Everything should be in place within the next three weeks.”
On whether food prices would fall soon as a result of the government’s large crop production program, Kyari stated, “It is based on market forces of supply and demand. So, if we raise supply, there will undoubtedly be an effect.”
He emphasized that the government was working to increase supply, which would have a positive impact on food prices across the country soon.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics’ latest Consumer Price Index: November 2023′ report, released in December 2023, Nigeria’s food inflation rate jumped to 32.84 percent.
Food inflation in Kogi, Kwara, and Rivers states reached 41.29 percent, 40.72 percent, and 40.22 per cent, respectively.
The November food inflation rate was 8.72 percentage points higher than the November 2022 figure (24.13 per cent).
According to the research, the increase in food prices was caused by price rises in bread and cereals, oil and fat, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables, and coffee, tea, and cocoa.
The National Bureau of Statistics reported, “On a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in November 2023 was 2.42 per cent, this was 0.51 per cent higher compared to the rate recorded in October 2023 (1.91 per cent).”
Meanwhile, on food production in Jigawa State, the agriculture minister stated, “We are impressed with Jigawa State’s performance, and we are also sending monitoring teams to get feedback from the farmers.”