– The minister of agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh, says farmers petitioned him accusing the government of denying them the chance to make profit from high cost of food prices
– Ogbeh also attributes the increase in the price of food to the high cost of transportation owing to the increase in the price of diesel from N180 to N300 per litre
– The minister also explains why imported rice is still more expensive than locally produced rice
The minister of agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh, has said the high cost of food prices can be partly blamed on farmers who resisted the federal government efforts at reducing food prices.
According to the Guardian, the Ogbeh said the farmers petitioned him accusing the government of denying them the chance to make profit from the high cost of food prices.
He made the disclosure on Tuesday, May 16, when he spoke during a town hall meeting in Abuja.
He said: “When our committee met and decided to find a way to bring down prices, I had petitions from farmers who told me, you told us to and grow food, now we are making money, you want to deny us our profit so they resisted.
The minister also attributed the increase in the price of food to the high cost of transportation owing to the increase in the price of diesel from N180 to N300 per litre.
He said: “Trailer owners were charging from Lagos to Kaduna 400,000 It used to be 180,000. All these prices feed into the cost of our produce”.
The minister also gave reasons why imported rice is still more expensive than locally produced rice, despite government efforts to make locally produced rice cheap.
He said: “First, Vietnam, India, is Thailand are the importers of rice, Thailand subsidises the production of rice to be able to earn foreign exchange. So the rice lands here at about N9,000 to N10,000 per bag and by the time the traders take it out, they sell for about N13,000 per bag.
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“Nigeria rice is not going below N16,000 per bag. Why? Our interest rates in this country are higher than most interest rates in the world. “Two, you have to run a diesel generator to operate your farm and rice mills. Over the period of the last 15 months, diesel went from about N180 per litre to N300 and the miler has to run diesel”
Meanwhile, also at the town hall meeting, NAIJ.com reports that Ogbeh reaffirmed the government’s promise to see to the end of the Fulani herdsmen menace
The minster said the government plans to make a presentation to the Africa Union to bar illegal entry of the foreign cattle rearers into Nigeria.
In the NAIJ.com video below, Rotimi Amaechi gives a summary of his ministry’s achievements under President Muhammadu Buhari.