Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, has commended President Bola Tinubu, for the approval of 50 per cent reduction in the cost of agricultural inputs for farmers for the commencement of dry season farming in the country.
Oyintiloye said that the subsidy on farm inputs by the president would go a long way in assisting farmers to increase production and boost food availability despite present high inflation in the country.
The APC chieftain said this while speaking with journalists yesterday in Osogbo.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, had on November 25 said the federal government will support 250,000 wheat farmers with a 50 per cent input subsidy to cultivate about 250,000 hectares during the dry season.
Kyari, disclosed this during the flag-off of the 2023/2024 dry session farming under the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro-pocket Project at Kadume Village, Hadejia Local Government Area, Jigawa State.
He said the FG’s support for the wheat farmers is expected to produce over 1.2 million tonnes during the farming session.
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 for the month of 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 from N564.69 in Oct.2022 to N790.01 in October 2023, among other food prices.
Oyintiloye, however, said that the approved farm inputs 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 to transform the agricultural sector by making food security the number one priority has started yielding positive results.
“We need to commend President Tinubu for this 50 per cent subsidy on farm inputs. This will go a long way to boost food and nutrition security, attract private sector investment reduce post-harvest losses, as well as add value to local agriculture produce in the country,” he said.
Oyintiloye said the programme of National Agriculture Growth, which was 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 result to ensure that 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.