Food scarcity caused by smuggling, flooding – Agric minister, Kyari

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The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, says the present food scarcity in the nation and the increasing cost of food is caused by the smuggling of food across Nigerian borders and the Naira redesign policy.

 

The minister made this statement when he appeared in the sectoral debate organized by the House of Representatives, stressing that flooding, which destroyed farmland across the country was another impediment to food security in the country.

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He said the policy resulted in smallholder farmers lacking the necessary funds to cultivate their farms during the 2022/2023 period.

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According to him, small-scale farmers had no access to cash because of the naira redesign policy and currency swap, especially to pay for their harvest towards the end of 2022, as well as pay for cultivation during the commencement of the wet season.

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Acknowledging the effect of insecurity on the food crisis in the country, Kyari said the COVID-19 incidents had an impact on food production across the globe while the rise in flooding in 2021 and 2022 caused serious damage to farmland and therefore hurt food production.

 

He added that as a result of the non-availability of cash, preparation for the 2023 farming season was not enough to produce the much-needed food to feed Nigerians.

 

He said the president has directed the Ministry and all those responsible to do everything possible to mitigate the suffering of Nigerians by ensuring enough grains are made available to the people.

 

He noted that currently, about 5000 tractors are working in Nigeria and the country should have 72,000 functional tractors to meet the growing needs of Nigerians.

 

He, however, said that the Ministry has signed a MoU with a manufacturer to supply 2000 tractors annually for the next five years.

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