The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has described the current substantial rise in food prices across the country, which has been brought about by several factors, as scary and daunting, expressing worry over economic recession rearing its head in Nigeria.
Kabir Ibrahim, national president of the AFAN, disclosed this to journalists while offering his assurance that AFAN would do all within its ability to ensure smallholder farmers, who are essential to food production in Nigeria, get what they need to increase the production, availability, accessibility and affordability of food.
The factors that have led to the astronomical rise in food prices include general insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic, a flooding crisis, poor attention to farmers, the #EndSARS protests, a fuel price hike, a high electricity tariff, dilapidated roads and an increase in taxation.
Ibrahim criticized the leadership within the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as being part of the food crisis, accusing them of failing to account for farmers in the ministry’s policies; he also alleged that some state governments are not really paying attention to farmers.
“As an interim measure, the farmers must be supported with good seeds and inputs to upscale dry season farming to augment their rain-fed production.
“The Federal Ministry of Water Resources should also complete and expand the dams as well as irrigation schemes abandoned for a very long time.”
“The Government did its best in supporting farmers through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Anchor Borrower Programme,” Ibrahim acknowledged, “but the targeted farmers are only about 2 million which is definitely a far cry from the 14.5 million farmers in the Government register.”