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Federal Government Plans Commodity Board to Address Food Insecurity and Price Volatility

Federal Government Plans Commodity Board to Address Food Insecurity and Price Volatility
Vice President Kashim Shettima [PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter page of the Vice President]

Federal Government Plans Commodity Board to Address Food Insecurity and Price Volatility


In Brief:

  • The Federal Government plans to establish a National Commodity Board to regulate and assess food prices, addressing the rising food inflation in Nigeria.
  • VP Shettima outlines a multi-faceted strategy, including short-term interventions, collaboration for efficient irrigation, and the establishment of a commodity board to tackle price volatility.
  • The government emphasizes initiatives such as restoring degraded lands, deploying security forces to protect farmers, and using concessionary capital to ensure food availability, affordability, and boost employment in the agricultural sector.

In a bid to combat escalating food inflation, the Federal Government is set to establish a National Commodity Board, according to Vice President Kashim Shettima.

The board’s mandate includes assessing and regulating food prices, as well as maintaining a strategic food reserve to stabilize prices of crucial grains and other food items.

This revelation came during a two-day high-level strategic meeting on climate change, food systems, and resource mobilization at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Vice President’s address, titled “Climate Resilience and Food Security: Nigeria’s Vision for the Future,” emphasized the government’s commitment to mitigating climate change effects and ensuring food security for Nigerians.

Immediate, Medium, and Long-term Strategies

Vice President Shettima outlined a comprehensive strategy to address the potential food crisis, encompassing immediate, medium, and long-term approaches.

The short-term strategy involves revitalizing food supply through interventions like distributing fertilizers and grains to counteract the effects of subsidy removal.

Collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water Resources is prioritized for efficient farmland irrigation, ensuring year-round food production.

Crucially, the government aims to tackle price volatility by establishing a national commodity board.

This board will continually assess and regulate food prices while maintaining a strategic food reserve to stabilize the prices of essential grains and other food items.

Restoration of Degraded Lands and Security Measures

Acknowledging the importance of restoring degraded land, Shettima highlighted plans to restore four million hectares of degraded lands within Nigeria’s borders, aligning with the AFR100 Initiative.

To address security challenges preventing farmers from working, the government pledges to engage the security architecture to protect farms and farmers, creating a safe environment for agricultural activities.

The Vice President assured that the government would activate land banks, utilizing 500,000 hectares of mapped land to increase the availability of arable land for farming, thereby boosting food output.

Collaboration with mechanization companies and support from the Central Bank of Nigeria are crucial components of these efforts.

Concessionary Capital for Agricultural Development

Shettima announced the deployment of concessionary capital to the agricultural sector, focusing on areas such as fertilizer, processing, mechanization, seeds, chemicals, equipment, feed, and labor.

This initiative aims to ensure food availability and affordability, directly impacting Nigeria’s Human Capital Index (HCI).

The government is committed to improving HCI numbers, currently ranking as the third lowest globally, for increased productivity.

Boosting Employment and Job Creation

In line with another presidential priority, the administration aims to make agriculture attractive to the youth population, creating between 5 and 10 million jobs within the agricultural value chain.

Collaborative efforts with the private sector and development of additional farmlands are key components of this initiative.

This strategic approach reflects the government’s dedication to addressing food security, tackling price volatility, and promoting sustainable agricultural practices for the benefit of Nigerians.

 


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