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Nigeria mulls establishment of commodity board to check food inflation



The Federal Government has concluded plans to establish a National Commodity Board to address the escalating food inflation in the country.

Vice President Kashim Shettima stated this at a strategic meeting on climate change, food systems, and resource mobilization held on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the board would be mandated to assess and regulate food prices as well as maintain a strategic food reserve for the country.

He said the event was an attestation of Nigeria’s efforts at mitigating the effects of climate change and ensuring food security for Nigerians.

Shettima noted that food security was one of the eight areas of priority declared by President Bola Tinubu in his Renewed Hope Agenda.

This, according to him, led to the declaration of a state of emergency on food security.

The Vice President listed measures adopted by the government to ensure food and water availability in the country.

Nigerians have been protesting the rising food prices and other costs of living and demanded measures by the government to address the problems.

The protests have spread from Niger State to Osun State in the last few days.

He said: “Our solution to the potential food crisis has become immediate, medium, and long-term strategies.

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“The short-term strategy entails revitalising food supply through specific interventions like the distribution of fertilizers and grains to farmers and households to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.

“It also entails fostering collaboration between the Ministries of Agriculture and Water Resources for efficient farmland irrigation, ensuring year-round food production; and addressing price volatility by establishing a National Commodity Board.

“This board will continually assess and regulate food prices, maintaining a strategic food reserve for stabilizing prices of crucial grains and other food items.”

He assured that the Tinubu administration was fully investing in the restoration of degraded land.

Shettima added: “There are ongoing plans to restore four million hectares or nearly 10 million acres of degraded lands within the nation’s borders as its contribution to the AFR100 Initiative.

“I wish to assure you that we will engage our security architecture to protect the farms and the farmers so that farmers can return to the farmlands without fear of attacks.

“We won’t only make it safe for farmers to return to their farms, but we will also ensure the activation of land banks.

“There is currently 500,000 hectares of already mapped land that will be used to increase the availability of arable land for farming, which will immediately impact food output.”

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