A Just concluded survey carried out by the News Agency of Nigeria shows that prices of foodstuff in the South Western part of the country have become cheaper. This is owing to the harvest of crops which has impacted positively on the prices and availability of commodities.
Some of the farmers who spoke with news correspondents in some states across the zone last week attributed the positive change to a sustained focus on the development of agriculture by the federal government.
They expressed the belief that the Federal Government’s effort at restructuring the economy would yield results if the focus on agriculture is sustained.The government’s efforts at encouraging locally made goods will also help in making the naira stronger.
These government actions and policies have boosted food production, which consequently resulted in good harvest which has led to the drop in the price of food commodities.
A maize seller, In Oyo state, said in Ibadan that a measure of maize, which used to cost N420 before, now sells for N200 while a bag of maize, which was previously N18,000 now sells at N10,000.
The seller said that the price would have been even cheaper if more youths went into agriculture.He encouraged the youths to start farming, so as to permanently solve the problem of food insecurity in the country.
A yam seller said that before now six tubers of yam cost 3,000, but now it sells for N1, 200 while 60 tubers of yam that used to go for N30,000 has dropped to N18,000, adding also that price of yam tuber will still drop as the harvest period progresses.However, the exportation of yams may hinder this reduction.
Mr. Alao Adetayo, who is a farmer, said one of the factors causing price hike was farm inputs and cost of transportation made worse by bad roads.He pleaded with the government to work on roads especially the ones in the rural areas which help in transporting farm produce from the villages to towns.
Oyewole Oyewumi, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Development, in Oyo state, said the government had embarked on several measures to improve food production in the state.
Oyewumi also said that the Oyo state government had begun recruiting unemployed youths into agriculture via the state’s Agricultural Initiatives (OYSAI)which has been tagged ‘OYO AGRIC’.
Osun state has a similar decrease in the prices of food items as observed in several parts of the state, and at the major markets in Osogbo as well as Ile-Ife.
Five big Sized tubers of yam which used to sell for N4,000 has now dropped to N2,500, while five small tubers which sold at N1,200 now cost N800.
A small bag of maize which was N24,000 now goes for N21,000 while a measure of maize which was N350 is now sold at N300.
The price of pepper has also reduced as a bag which used to sell N8,000 is now sold between N6,500 and N7,000. Onions have also become cheaper with the price of a bag of the item selling between N15,000 and N18,000.
However, the price of beans has remained on the high side in the past few months as a bag of white beans sells goes for N40,000 while a measure sells at N650.A bag of Sweet beans which was N25,000 has now increased to N30,000 while a measure of it has increased from N700 to N750.