FG Releases Grains To Moderate Food Prices

The Federal Government of Nigeria has ordered the release of 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to moderate the higher food prices in the country.

President Bola Tinubu who gave the order, disclosed that the government was also providing 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings, and other inputs to farmers who are committed to the nation’s food security agenda.

TheFact Daily reports that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its last Consumer Price Index (CPI) Report showed that the country’s Headline Inflation Rate increased to 22.79 percent in June 2023, relative to the 22.41 percent recorded in May 2023.

The Bureau said that the current increase was stimulated by Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages at 11.81 percent and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuel at 3.81 percent, amongst others.

In the same vein, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 25 basis points, from 18.50 percent to 18.75 percent, after its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The Committee’s decision in favour of a moderate rate hike was to sustain efforts at anchoring inflation expectations, narrow the negative real interest rate gap, and improve investor confidence.

The Committee’s considerations focused on the persistent rise in inflation
and its potential adverse effect on output growth and household

It said, the continued uptick in inflation (month on month), driven by
increase in both the food and core components of the CPI, in the view
of members, remained a key challenge

Meanwhile, Tinubu said, a multi-stakeholder engagement with various farmers’ associations and operators within the agricultural value chain had been convened to ensure that prices of food items remain affordable.

He said, “in the short and immediate terms, we will ensure that staple foods are available and affordable”.

He further disclosed that the administration’s plan to support the cultivation of 500,000 hectares of farmland and all-year-round farming practice remains on course.

To be specific, he said, “N200 billion out of the N500 billion approved by the National Assembly will be disbursed as follows:

“Our administration will invest N50 billion each to cultivate 150,000 hectares of rice and maize.

“N50 billion each will also be earmarked to cultivate 100,000 hectares of wheat and cassava.

“This expansive agricultural programme will be implemented targeting small-holder farmers and leveraging large-scale private sector players in the agric business with strong performance record.

“In this regard, the expertise of Development Finance Institutions, commercial banks, and microfinance banks will be tapped into to develop a viable and appropriate transaction structure for all stakeholders”, he said.

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