Government Policies Are Responsible For Food Crisis- Anogwi Anyanwu

Food Crisis, Anogwi AnyanwuEconomic Consultant, Anogwi Anyanwu, has attributed the hike in food prices in Nigeria to weak government policies.

According to him, the issue of food price hike has nothing to do with a 5% interest rate in the agriculture sector, rather it has so much to do with government policies.

“What is causing food crisis is government policies and the inability of the government to have a unified plan on how to manage the increasing prices of food stuff.

He stated this while speaking on Channels Television’s Breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

Anyanwu, who is also the Former Executive Director of Spring Bank, however commended the Federal Government over the mandate given to the food task force which was set up Wednesday.

The committee, set up to reduce food prices in the country, is expected to report their findings to the council within the next one week.

“I want to commend the Federal Executive Council for talking about the rising prices of foodstuff; at least that shows that they are feeling what the people are feeling.”

He, however said he hopes that the move is not just a political action, intended to make the people feel like the government cares whereas, they end up not really doing anything.

According to him. “What they have set out to do, is not something you can do in one week”.

Recalling the increase in food prices between the year 2007 and 2008, he said because Nigeria was a net importer of food, commodity prices including oil prices went up significantly.

Furthermore, he stated that: “the government at that time was scared that there was going to be a food crisis and several hearings were held by the Senate as well as the Federal House of Representatives.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources at that time, held several seminars, the President at that time, had meetings with the 36 state governors and all of them were talking about how to avert a food crisis.”

According to him, in 2009, “the government came up with a strategy document of food security. That document was dusted up in 2011 when the last administration came in.

“The Minister of Agriculture at that time, came up with the Agric Transformation Agenda which had several components including the growth enhancement scheme, including the seed scheme that gave farmers improved seedlings, including the plans to build rice mills and silos all over the country.

“I don’t know the impact of this, I don’t know whether they had been continued or those programmes had been abandoned.

This led him to speak about long term plans as regards the new task force.

“When speaking of food security, there are long term, medium and short term measures.

“The government cannot legislate the prices of food or any commodity for that matter. Government can only take action that makes the forces of demand and supply to have an appropriate pricing for anything including foodstuff.”

Certificate of Occupancy

Debunking comments that the financial world is making it difficult for farmers to survive, Mr Anyanwu said that the issue is not the fault of the financial world.

Defending his claim, he said: “There are several progammes such as the Agric Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Growth Enhancement Scheme and the fertilizer scheme, whereby government ensured that the fertiliser subsidy was going directly to farmers.

“I do not think that the banks would frustrate any programme that is meant to improve the economy of this country.”

According to him, “the banks play leading roles and the even in the growth enhancement scheme, the banks came together and provided 200bn Naira for lending to farmers.

He however added that “the bank will not lend to the small scale farmer – the bank would lend to a farmer that is properly structured, that has documents that he can present as collateral.

“If you own a farm and you don’t have a Certificate of Occupancy (CoO), what are you going to present to the bank to loan you money,” he questioned.

“The small scale farmers are supposed to be taken care of by the government. If the small scale farmers have cooperatives and they come together, then the bank can deal with them as a cooperative not individuals.”

Benue Foodstuff Dealers Shut Down Supply

food crisis, Federated Foodstuff Dealers Association, BenueA state-wide food crisis looms in Benue as one of the largest foodstuff dealers’ association in Nigeria has shut down sales.

The Federated Foodstuff Dealers Association in Zaki-Biam yam market in Benue state accounts for 30% national food supply.

The association has refused to call off the two weeks’ old strike it embarked on to protest alleged arbitrary taxes by the Benue State Board of Internal Revenue.

The union, at a peace meeting with officials of the revenue service and the state government, appealed to the state government to intervene by harmonizing taxes collected on all farm produce instead of charging different rates.

The Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Investment, Tersoo Kpelai, who chaired the meeting, said that a bill to harmonize all taxes was being proposed to the state assembly.

He appealed to the union to show understanding pending when the bill comes into effect in 2017.

Other market associations were also part of the meeting.

MSF Accuses UN Of Negligence Regarding Food Crisis In Northeast Nigeria

MSF, Food Crisis, Northeast NigeriaThe United Nations has been accused of failing to act quickly enough to save hundreds of thousands of lives in north east Nigeria where a food crisis already killing hundreds of people a day is poised to become the most devastating in decades.

The head of Médecins Sans Frontières operations in Nigeria, Isabelle Mouniaman, said that MSF has been raising the alarm in northern Nigeria for two years and U.N organisations have failed to respond.

She also accused the federal government of deliberate negligence and attempting to conceal the scale of the crisis.

International aid agencies have focused on Maiduguri’s overstretched camps, but more than 80% of displaced people in the city, around 1.9 million people, are living among the community, the vast majority without access to food aid or medical support.

Cameroon Says It Has 4,000 Refugees From Boko Haram’s Conflict

Cameroon claims it has received 4,000 refugees fleeing the Nigerian military offensive against Islamists in the northeastern part of the country, the governor of the affected region said on Wednesday, bringing total refugee numbers from the conflict to at least 10,000.

“There are 4,000 refugees who have come in from Nigeria and we are working out a programme with the International Red Cross to set up a refugee camp for them near the town of Mokolo,” Cameroon’s Far-North region governor Fonka Awa said.

The Nigerian Army was not available for comment. The local Red Cross said it was still investigating.

Since the state of emergency was declared in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, military forces have been engaged in a concerted crackdown against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, bombing their bases, raiding neighborhoods where they are suspected to be hiding and cutting phone lines.

The figure was much lower than that given by Senator Hamed Jaha from Borno state, who said on Monday that 20,000 had fled from the Nigerian border towns of Ashigashiya and Ngoshe into Cameroon after army raids.

Last month the U.N. refugee agency said it had registered 6,000 refugees from Nigeria in neighbouring Niger.

Rights groups and aid agencies have warned of fears that the longer the offensive against the Islamists goes on, the more the local population will suffer.

The National Human Rights Commission said this week that violence since President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in May had forced thousands of farmers to flee their land. It warned that the exodus could trigger a food crisis.

The group said it had credible reports of killings, torture, rape and arbitrary detention by security forces.

Professor of Agriculture says population is outgrowing food production in Nigeria

A professor of Agricultural in the Federal Univeristy of Agriculture Abeokuta, Bola Okuneye and Wale Oyekoya, the MD/CEO of Bama farms on Friday said Nigeria population is already outgrowing food production.

Misters Okuneye and Oyekoya were our guests on Channels Television’s programme, Business Morning.

Mr Okuneye said the rate of production is so low compared with the rate of population growth which is put at 3.5% because the various governments have not done much to aid the situation.