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Inflation, high food prices pushing more Nigerians into poverty —Agric Minister, Abubakar



Agric minister Dr. Mohammad Abubakar

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has raised an alarm over the escalating rise in prices of food items in the country, saying this was driving more Nigerians into poverty if urgent steps and appropriate measures were not taken to address inflation.

Abubakar who raised this concern at a national workshop on the applications of Juncao technology and its contribution to the achievement of sustainable agriculture and Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria held in Abuja on Tuesday, said the current inflation of food prices across the country may drive more Nigerians into poverty.

The workshop which was organised by the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), was supported by the National Engineering Research Center for Juncao Technology of the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) of China and Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture.

Read also: World Bank pin points threats to Buhari’s plan to reduce poverty in Nigeria

The Minister stated that the rise in food prices, though not peculiar to Nigeria as it was a global issue occasioned mainly by climate changes, had impacted negatively on agricultural production and was likely to pose grave threats to food security in the future.

“Food may become more expensive as climate change mitigation efforts increase energy prices,” the Minister who was represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Abdullahi Abubakar, said.

“Water required for food production may become more scarce due to increased crop water use and drought. Competition for land may increase as certain areas become climatically unsuitable for production.

“In addition, extreme weather events, associated with climate change may cause sudden reductions in agricultural productivity, leading to rapid price increases.

“These rising prices may force growing numbers of local people into poverty, providing a sobering demonstration of how the influence of climate change can result in food insecurity

“Holistic efforts are being made in recent times to address these multi-faceted challenges and unlock the potentials of the Nation’s livestock resources for increased employment opportunity, improved livelihoods and income, and we earnestly look ward to potential leverages the Juncao technology will provide to boost these efforts,” he added.

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