It’s no longer news that Nigerians across the country are bemoaning the exorbitant cost of food on a daily basis. It’s either those with the president’s ears opted not to tell him the truth or are afraid of informing him that some of his agricultural policies are failing.
Floods have undoubtedly destroyed an unimaginable number of farmlands around the country, significantly hurting production across some states of the federation.
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In fact, there is food inflation, with many Nigerians unable to feed their families.
To drive the economy through agriculture, more robust policies should be formulated.
The president recently blamed middlemen for taking advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians. One might wonder; are these middlemen ghosts or are they above the law that they cannot be brought to book? Saboteurs should indeed be arrested and made to face the consequences of their actions. We can’t allow unscrupulous elements to undermine our quest to attain food security. We barely grow what we consume because fertilizer is not only unavailable, but also expensive for ordinary Nigerians who choose to farm. Also I do not think the anchor borrowers scheme has helped the situation, given that our borders are restricted, and we are not yet cultivating enough for the country.
Indeed, new policies must be formulated and implemented to ensure that ordinary Nigerians can purchase agricultural produce easily. I also plead with the government to focus more on subsidising agricultural implements in order to encourage people to embrace farming and find ways to bridge shortages so that food is cheap to the growing population. A hungry man is believed to be an angry man. Nigerians would sleep soundly if food is not only abundant but also affordable, and the problem of malnutrition will undoubtedly be reduced to a manageable level.
Certainly, one of the basic principles of governance is that it undertakes programmes that benefit its subjects.
Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani, Galadima Mahmud Street, Kasuwar-kaji Azare, Bauchi State