A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, has commended President Bola Tinubu for approving a 50 per cent reduction in the cost of agricultural inputs for farmers during the dry season farming period.
Oyintiloye told newsmen on Sunday in Osogbo that the subsidy would have a positive impact on farmers and contribute to increased agricultural production and improved food availability.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, on Nov. 25 said the federal government would support 250,000 wheat farmers with a 50 per cent input subsidy to cultivate about 250,000 hectares during the dry season.
Oyintiloye, a member of defunct APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), noted that the country’s current food inflation, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stood at 31.5 per cent.
Oyintiloye, a former lawmaker also said that in the selected food price watch, in October, as released by NBS, shows that the average price of one kilogram of rice local sold rose by 68.10 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N487.47 in October 2022 to N819.42 in October 2023.
He said the NBS statistics further revealed that the average price of one kilogram of brown beans rose by 39.90 per cent on a year-on-year basis to N790.01 in October from N564.69 which was recorded same period 2022, among other food prices.
Oyintiloye, however, said that the approved farm input subsidy by the federal government was timely, as it would reduced the food inflation in the country.
He said that President Tinubu’s assurance to Nigerians in transforming the agricultural sector by making food security the number one priority had started yielding positive results.
“We need to commend President Tinubu for this 50 per cent subsidy on farm inputs.
“This will go along way to boost food and nutrition security, attract private sector investment, reduce post-harvest losses, and add value to local agriculture produce in the country,” he said.
Oyintiloye said the programme of National Agriculture Growth, aimed at supporting farmers through training on good agricultural practices and provide certified inputs, would enhance food production.
The APC chieftain said that with the various agricultural interventions by the president, there would be a positive changes in the prices of food and there would be surpluses in the coming days.
He said the president’s passion for food security and his quick intervention on fertilizers, improved seeds, mechanisation and grants, in both long and short run, would yield a desirable results to ensure food production round the year.
Oyintiloye, however, appealed to the federal government to relate directly with subsistence and large scale farmers, among other stakeholders in agriculture business through their various associations.
He said this would enable them to access various government intervention programmes without any form of hindrance and make Nigeria self-sufficient in term of agriculture produce, thereby making prices of food items affordable. (NAN)