The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has started distributing 40,000 metric tons of grains to Nigerians to cushion the effect of high commodities’ prices during the festive period. President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar to release 40,000 metric tons of grains to Nigerians from the Strategic Grains Reserve (SGR). The minister had commenced the Emergency Distribution of Assorted Food Commodities to Displaced/Vulnerable Nigerians and Women Group at the Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at Karmajiji, Airport Road, Abuja.
The minister informed that President also approved funds for the restocking of silos across the country. Dr. Abubakar said the distribution would also continue in other states, adding that the grains would serve as palliatives during the festive periods. He noted that incessant attacks had displaced farming communities in some states, disrupted their source of livelihood, and rendered them homeless. The minister said many of those affected, some of who were already taking shelter in schools, mosques and churches, were in need of food assistance to ameliorate their suffering.
He said: “We feel there is need to reach out. This is the reason for having grain reserves. When there is need to release the grains, we release them. We are doing that just as we did during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic when Mr. President directed the release of 70,000 metric tons of food. As we speak, the President has approved additional funding for restocking our silos. We are restocking as we are releasing. Also, the high prices of maize in the open market has affected the cost of production of poultry feeds and consequently, the availability of the products, thereby threatening the poultry industry, which has been a major employer of labour for decades”.