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HomeTop NewsPresident Tinubu unveils measures to combat high food prices

President Tinubu unveils measures to combat high food prices

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In response to soaring food prices, President Bola Tinubu’s administration has announced a series of measures designed to stabilize the market and ensure food security across Nigeria.

150-Day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities

The government will suspend duties, tariffs, and taxes on the importation of specific food commodities through land and sea borders. This duty-free window includes key staples such as maize, husked brown rice, wheat, and cowpeas.

Imported food commodities will be subject to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) to ensure affordability while maintaining safety standards.

In a significant move, the federal government plans to import 250,000 metric tons of wheat and 250,000 metric tons of maize. These semi-processed food commodities will be directed to small-scale processors and millers nationwide, aiming to bolster local food production capabilities.

Setting Guaranteed Minimum Prices and National Strategic Food Reserve

To further stabilize prices and ensure a steady food supply, the government will engage stakeholders to set a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP). This initiative will help manage surplus food commodities and replenish the National Strategic Food Reserve.

Ramp-Up of Agricultural Production for 2024/2025

The administration is committed to increasing agricultural productivity through several initiatives:

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  • Sustained support for smallholder farmers during the ongoing wet season farming.
  • Strengthening and accelerating dry-season farming across the country.
  • Promoting aggressive agricultural mechanization to reduce production costs and boost productivity.
  • Collaborating with sub-national entities to identify irrigable lands and increase the land under cultivation.
  • Working with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to rehabilitate and maintain irrigation facilities.

Additionally, the government plans to develop a strategic engagement for youth and women in greenhouse cultivation of horticultural crops, such as tomatoes and peppers, to stabilize prices and address food shortages.

Fast-Tracking Livestock and Agricultural Initiatives

The administration will expedite ongoing engagements with the Nigerian Military to cultivate arable lands under the Defence Farms Scheme rapidly.

Other paramilitary establishments will also be encouraged to secure available arable lands for cultivation.

On July 9, 2024, the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee will be inaugurated.

This committee will develop and implement policies to enhance livestock development, aligning with the National Livestock Transformation Plan initiated by the previous administration.

Enhancing Nutrition Security

The government aims to promote the production of fortified food commodities and support the scaling up of the Home Garden Initiative, spearheaded by the Office of the First Lady. These efforts are designed to improve nutrition security nationwide.

Implementation and Monitoring

Over the next 14 days, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, in collaboration with the Presidential Food Systems Coordinating Unit (PFSCU) and the Economic Management Team (EMT), will finalize the implementation frameworks for these measures.

The PFSCU will manage a dashboard providing President Tinubu with direct visibility into these interventions, ensuring accountability and transparency.

These measures will be implemented over the next 180 days, with regular updates provided to facilitate participation from all relevant stakeholders across the country.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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