Expert warn against food price hike

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The Managing Director of Bama Farms Ltd., Mr Wale Oyekoya, on Friday warned that the continuous hike in food prices was an indication of an impending food crisis.

Oyekoya told journalist in Lagos that the hike was worrisome even after the huge amount spent by the Federal Government in the country’s agriculture sector.

Oyekoya, who is the immediate past Chairman of the Agriculture Trade Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said that the price of rice was still high after several interventions.

“We say we are self-sufficient in rice production and we are still buying imported rice at the rate of N16,000, whereas some three years ago, we were buying it at less than N10,000.

“So, are we progressing or retrogressing? With all the money we are spending on agriculture, foodstuff are still expensive and there is a projection that food will still be expensive, then what is going on?

“Every year, we keep having food price increases and that is the beginning of food crisis,” he said.

Oyekoya also said that Nigerians were not eating right because government was spending so much money in interventions to the production of carbohydrates in the country.

He said that the poultry and livestock sub-sector had not enjoyed some of the benefits as with the rice and yam counterparts in the sector.

“We should not be talking about food sufficiency when we cannot eat a balanced diet. Our government is focusing on carbohydrate like rice production.

“You will never hear the government talk about poultry and livestock, we cannot keep concentrating on carbohydrate, we are not eating right in this country.

“I remember some time ago, I was paired with a medical doctor and we were talking about health and agriculture and how they relate because it is when you eat right that you become healthy to enjoy your wealth,” he said.

Oyekoya urged the Federal Government to channel funds to the livestock sub-sector as a means of improving the eating habits of Nigerians.

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