Rising Food Prices in Nigeria Will Continue into 2022, Poultry Chief Warns
Skyrocketing food prices in Nigeria are currently bracing to outlive this 2021. This implies that unless the authorities take urgent steps to contain the situation, a greater majority of Nigerians will be facing acute hunger.
National President of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Ezekiel Ibrahim, says the recurring cases of insecurity, poor farming activities, climate change, lack of access to credit facilities, are crippling the food sector.
The warning is however, coming as Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Sabo Nanono, is out to probe the activities of the Federal College of Agricultural Produce Technology, Kano.
In a statement by the minister’s Technical Adviser on Media, Ahmed Aminu, his principal is displeased with occurrences at the College.
The situation, according to the statement, has caused factions in every arm of the institution, which has retarded the smooth running of the academic and administrative functions of the school.
“Nanono is unpleased with the unsavoury happenings at the College which give rise to rancor, bitterness and discord among staff, management and even members of the Board of Directors,” the statement says.
Chairman and members of the Governing Board, Provost and Registrar of the institution were all suspended on April 30 over rising crisis within the management.
Executive Secretary of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) Prof. Garba Hamidu Sharubutu, disclosed this while speaking to the newsmen on the development.
Nanono also noted that the mandate of the College in the areas of Extension Services, Laboratory and Horticultural Technology cannot be achieved with the current disharmony within its governing board.
This by extension, he said, would harm the nation’s agricultural productivity adding that he would not sit back to allow the strife to continue unchecked at the College.
The minister has authorised that an Administrative Investigative Panel be instituted within the week to probe the activities at the College to decisively deal with those thwarting its smooth running, no matter how highly placed they are.
The minister had secretly in the company of his entourage including; Prof. Garba Hamidu Sharubutu, Executive Secretary, ARCN; the Acting Provost of the college Dr. Halima Moudupeore Alimi; Management Staff, Heads of Departments and Leaders of staff unions visited the college.
In the mean time, citing the poultry industry as an example, he said that the industry was in a crippled state as farmers can’t cope with the increased cost of production.
Ezekiel pointed that the association has been keen on drawing the attention of the government to put more effort into ensuring food security as Nigerians can’t eat what they were eating five years ago.
He revealed that small and medium-sized poultry farms which are major players in the industry are shutting down and creating a void in the industry, thereby threatening millions of jobs created.
“Since 2019, we have been saying let us import maize and soybeans so that we will keep our agro-industries floating, which means we are maintaining employment rate.
“As of today, most factories and poultry farms have closed, the ones that are producing now are producing at a loss, if they continue, sooner or later, they are going to close down. This will not only heighten the crime rates but increase malnutrition.
“We have never had the worst experience as we are experiencing today, a lot of people can’t afford anything in the market currently.
“The economy of any nation depends on its purchasing power and many Nigerians go to bed today without eating food. We must secure this nation to allow farmers to go to farms and give credit facilities to genuine farmers.
“If we are serious, we can transform this country in three years, we have vast land and very productive youths. we should use what we have, mobilise the youths and make agriculture attractive to make it business, we can always do a rainy season and dry season farming,” the chairman said.