The harvest of food crops in the South-west has made appreciable positive impact on the prices of foodstuff, a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria has revealed.
Some farmers and stakeholders, who spoke with NAN in Oyo on Wednesday, attributed the positive development to the sustained focus on agricultural development by the federal government.
They expressed optimism that the effort at revamping the country’s ailing economy would materialise, if the renewed focus on agriculture persisted.
They also cited government’s efforts at strengthening the naira by encouraging locally produced goods.
These actions, they concluded, had boosted food production, resulting to good harvest that had led to a drop in the price of foodstuff.
A maize seller, Azeez Zubair, told NAN in Ibadan that a measure (mudu) of maize, which cost N420 before the current harvest period, now goes for N200 while a bag of maize, which was sold for N18,000 previously now cost N10,000.
He said that the price could have been further reduced if more youth had ventured into agriculture and therefore, advised youngsters to go back to farming in order to permanently tackle food insecurity in the country.
Also speaking, Romoke Fashola, a yam seller, said that six tubers of yam that previously cost 3,000, now sells for N1, 200 while the price of 60 tubers of yam had dropped to N18,000 from N30,000.
Mrs. Fashola said that the price of yam would still drop as the harvest period lasted.
She, however, observed that exportation of yams, would limit the drop in the price of yam this harvest season.
In his own contribution, Alao Adetayo, a farmer, identified one of the factors inducing price spikes as the high cost of farm inputs and transportation occasioned by bad roads.
He urged the federal government to rehabilitate rural roads to ease farmers’ stress in the transportation of farm produce to urban centres.
Reacting to the development, Oyewole Oyewumi, the Oyo Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Development, said the state government had embarked on various measures to boost food production.
Oyewumi said that the government had begun to recruit many unemployed youth into agriculture through the inauguration of the Oyo State Agricultural Initiatives (OYSAI) tagged ‘OYO AGRIC’.
He said that this effort had contributed to increased food production and the resultant affordable prices of farm produce this harvest period.
The commissioner added that the government had also embarked on the repair and expansion of rural roads to ease the transportation of farm produce from rural communities to urban areas.
Culled from NAN market survey