Despite rising insecurity affecting farmers in Northern Nigeria, the Minister of Agriculture, Mohammad Abubakar, said COVID-19 and the war between Russia and Ukraine caused prices of foods to skyrocket.
Prime Business Africa had previously reported that food inflation rose from 19.5% in May, to 20.6% in June 2022. The hike was driven by increased price of bread and cereals, food product;, potatoes, yam, and other tubers, meat, fish, oil and fat, and wine.
Bandits have been attacking farmers in north-west and north-central regions, preventing them from accessing the farms. The attack has affected production and transport, raising cost of production and moving the food from farm to market.
“Truly, if they cannot completely access farms all over the country, you will expect a drop in production but right now we are doing everything possible to make sure both production is maintained through that security provision.” Abubakar said after the ministerial briefing.
He explained that the government has provided security, known as Agro-Rangers, to protect the farmers, hence, food production not dropping significantly, “It is a concern for the government but if you notice, despite that, production has not dropped to any significant level.”
However, Abubakar stated that the rise was due to the aftermath of the COVID-19 and the Russian and Ukraine war that followed after, “When COVID came, it affected a lot of things including food production and the after effect of that is what we are still facing and that will lag for some time before it is stabilised.
“I believe the price of rice has dropped a little bit and we are still working on it.” The Minister said.
Abubakar further explained, “The whole world is currently reeling out of COVID and now battling the consequences of the war in Ukraine and Russia, but things will stabilise and the ministry of agriculture is doing everything possible in terms of addressing the problem; we are not relenting, so that the prices will come down faster.”
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