Journalism of Courage

Food inflation: FG releases 40,000 metric tons of grains

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, said President Buhari gave the directive at a meeting with him at the State House, Abuja.

To cushion the effect of high food prices in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of 40,000 metric tons of various grains from the National Strategic Grains Reserve (SGR).

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, said President Buhari gave the directive at a meeting with him at the State House, Abuja.

According to Abubakar, the Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development ministry will handle the distribution of 12,000 metric tons.

He said the same process deployed during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, to distribute 70,000 metric tons of assorted food items across some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), would be used in the distribution of the grains.

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He said: “I’m here as a result of summoning by His Excellency, Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari.

“He actually directed and approved the release of grains from our Strategic grain Reserve by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“This is to cushion the effect of some of the issues we are facing with high prices of commodities across the country and also to cushion these festivities; Ramadan, Easter, Salah.

“In all there should be over 40,000 metric tons that will be released as we start the release of the grains. We will be releasing an assortment of grains that are in our grain reserves. We have sorghum, maize, millet and the rest of them.”

Speaking on how the Russian/Ukraine war has affected the importation of Wheat to Nigeria, Abubakar said : “Yes, Nigeria imports grains and other agricultural input from Ukraine. We are making sure that we look inwards and outwards to make sure this conflict does not affect our agricultural sector.

“Inwards, looking at fabrication of certain equipment that we can do. Also surveying and looking for areas that we can even produce our own fertilizer because we have the mineral deposits that are precursors to fertilizer production.

“And also other places where we can import from, apart from Ukraine, but the most important thing is to up our own agricultural production.”

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