Food Security: Agric Ministry Gets N100bn from CBN 

IITA spurs Agriculture in Africa

Food Security: Agric Ministry Gets N100bn from CBN 

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,  has allocated N100bn and 2.15 million bags of fertilisers to the Ministry of Agriculture, to cushion the effects of high prices of food in the country.

Governor of the apex bank, Olayemi Cardoso disclosed this during a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar, and the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.

While speaking, Cardoso said the apex bank believed that providing support to farmers would help mitigate high food prices currently bedevilling the nation.

He said, “The CBN has veered away from direct quasi-fiscal interventions and transitioned towards leveraging conventional monetary policy tools for executing monetary policies effectively. In this light, we aim to extend our support and foster closer ties with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) with the mandate and expertise to undertake these critical initiatives. Consequently, we aim to enhance our partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, bolstering your endeavours to enhance food productivity and security, ultimately curbing food inflation and fortifying our pursuit of price stability.

“In pursuit of these shared goals, we are delighted to announce the allocation of 2.15 million bags of fertiliser, valued at over 100 billion naira, which we humbly hand over to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. This contribution from the Central Bank aims to amplify food production capabilities and foster price stabilisation within the agricultural sector.”

On his part, Abubakar welcomed the development, saying that the partnership would further guarantee food security in the country.

He said, “The rising cost of food items is negatively impacting the nation, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is seeking out avenues to ameliorate the situation. This meeting with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, his management team and the minister of budget and economic planning is to seek ways to provide support to the farmers will help to mitigate high food prices.”

Cardoso called for active partnerships to ensure stability in the prices of food items.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria significantly emphasises maintaining price stability as one of its primary mandates. Food prices are a crucial component of inflation, especially considering that a substantial portion of household expenditure in Nigeria is allocated towards food and non-alcoholic beverages. This reinforces the critical need to address food inflation as a pivotal aspect of managing overall headline inflation rates. While the CBN has been implementing comprehensive measures to curb inflation, it is evident that in the short term, inflationary pressures may persist, predominantly driven by escalating food prices,” he said.

Cardoso reiterated CBN’s unwavering commitment to prioritising price stability and instilling confidence in the Nigerian economy, by upholding consumer price stability and ensuring a balanced foreign exchange market.

“Despite the prevailing challenges posed by inflation and currency depreciation, we remain resolute in our determination to surmount these obstacles. While transient inflationary pressures may persist, we anticipate substantial alleviation by the third quarter of 2024, coupled with diminished exchange rate strains. Our resolve lies in implementing policies that cultivate a resilient macroeconomic environment and enhance the welfare of all Nigerians,” he said.

While speaking, Kyari assured that the federal government was optimistic that with the interventions, food prices will be stabilised in the country within months.

Nigeria’s inflation rate hit an all-high of 29.90 per cent in January from 28.92 per cent in December 2023 amidst high food prices, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Food prices have increased astronomically across the country after President Bola Tinubu announced the end of the fuel subsidy payment during his inauguration as president on 29 May 2023.

The upward trend in the prices of these staples, as well as other products, has weakened the purchasing power of many citizens, making it difficult for many households in the country to afford daily meals.