NIGERIA – In response to escalating food prices, the Nigerian government, under the directive of President Bola Tinubu, has launched significant measures aimed at providing relief to vulnerable populations nationwide.

During the ministerial sectoral update commemorating President Tinubu’s first year in office, Abubakar Kyari, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, announced the procurement and distribution of 58,500 metric tonnes of milled rice.

Furthermore, the ministry has released 42,000 metric tonnes of various food commodities from the federal government’s strategic food reserve to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for extensive distribution.

In Yobe State, President Tinubu’s approval of 21,000 bags of grains was met with gratitude. Muhammad Goje, Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency, commended this initiative, noting the distribution of rice, maize, guinea corn, and millet to orphans, widows, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.

Goje highlighted that the state government had previously distributed 50,000 bags of assorted grains to 120,000 vulnerable households, emphasizing the ongoing efforts to combat food insecurity.

Kyari underscored that these actions align with the ministry’s priorities under the Renewed Hope Agenda, which focuses on boosting agriculture for food security, enhancing infrastructure, and improving transportation.

We inaugurated dry-season farming with the cultivation of 118,657 hectares of wheat in 15 states, supporting 107,429 wheat farmers with inputs,” Kyari stated.

This initiative yielded an impressive output of 474,628 metric tonnes of wheat, injecting an estimated N309 billion (US$208.5M) into the economy.

The ministry has also embarked on efforts to fortify crops with vitamin A micronutrients, aiming to enhance their nutritional value and address malnutrition.

Concerns about food insecurity have been longstanding in Nigeria but worsened after President Tinubu’s move to remove the fuel subsidy, which had been in place for decades, and kept the price of petroleum products low.

According to sources, the removal led to increases of up to 200% in the prices of petroleum which consequently has led to an escalation of prices of foodstuff.

This prompted the president, last year, to declare a state of food emergency to ensure sustainable food security.

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