Nigeria Targets Food Price Reduction with 6-Point Plan

Minister of Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari.

Nigeria’s rising food prices have become a major concern for citizens and the government. In response, the Federal Government unveiled a comprehensive 6-point plan on Wednesday, aiming to bring down food costs within the next 180 days (by January 2025).

Addressing Immediate Needs:

The plan focuses on a two-pronged approach: increasing food availability in the short term while bolstering domestic production for long-term sustainability.

  • Import Relief: Import duties, tariffs, and taxes will be suspended for specific food staples like maize, wheat, and rice entering the country through land and sea borders. This aims to make imported options more affordable.
  • Government Reserves: The Federal Government will directly import 250,000 metric tonnes each of wheat and maize to build national food reserves. This will help stabilize prices and ensure availability.
  • Curbing Price Gouging: Recommended Retail Prices (RRP) will be established to prevent excessive price hikes on imported food items. This ensures consumers benefit from the import tax breaks.

Boosting Domestic Production:

Recognizing the limitations of relying solely on imports, the plan also emphasizes long-term solutions to strengthen domestic food production.

  • Supporting Farmers: The government will increase support for smallholder farmers during the ongoing wet season farming. This includes existing initiatives and potential new programs.
  • Enhancing Farming Practices: Efforts will be made to strengthen and expand dry season farming practices across the country. Additionally, investments in agricultural mechanization aim to reduce the manual labor burden, lower production costs, and ultimately boost yields.
  • Expanding Irrigation: Collaboration with state governments will focus on identifying irrigable land and increasing the area under cultivation. Improved irrigation infrastructure is crucial for year-round agricultural activity.
  • Engaging Youth and Women: A specific strategy targets youth and women by encouraging them to participate in greenhouse farming of high-value crops like tomatoes and peppers. This can significantly increase production volume and contribute to price stabilization.
  • Utilizing Military Lands: The government plans to work with the Nigerian military to cultivate arable lands under the Defence Farms Scheme. Similar partnerships with other paramilitary establishments are also encouraged to maximize available land for food production.

Long-Term Vision:

Beyond the immediate crisis, the government has plans to establish a dedicated Ministry of Livestock Development to prioritize the livestock sector. Additionally, promoting the production of fortified food commodities will enhance overall nutrition security.

Collaboration is Key:

The success of this 6-point plan hinges on cooperation. The Minister of Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari, emphasized the importance of collaboration between government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) alongside stakeholders like farmers’ associations and the private sector.

A Commitment to Food Security:

President Bola Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to achieving food security and ensuring no Nigerian goes hungry was reiterated. The government’s team will work diligently to implement these crucial policies, aiming for immediate food security while addressing underlying causes for long-term agricultural sustainability in Nigeria.

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria expressed optimism about the plan, particularly the tax breaks on food imports and the government’s intervention to increase food stocks. However, the long-term success of the plan will depend on its effective implementation and ensuring sufficient support reaches all targeted beneficiaries.


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