‘Committee on rising food prices not to discourage farmers’
The Federal Government has said the inter-ministerial task force set up to address causes of rise in food prices is not to discourage farmers. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, yesterday, said that the task force would rather balance and equalise food prices across the country.
“There is no attempt by the government to regulate prices because it cannot work. What government is worried about is the high cost of transporting commodities in some parts of the country.
He said the Federal Government was exploring the possibility of creating centres to enhance movement of the items from areas of production to other areas that needed them as a way of drastically reducing their eventual prices.
“Where there is a surplus of yam, the trains will move them down to other parts,’’ the minister said. Ogbeh, a member of the committee, expressed concern about some illegal checkpoints and revenue collectors along transportation routes for food items, saying the development also had its negative impact on food prices.
“It will take an articulated vehicle a week to move from Yola to Lagos because these illegal citizens close the road and say they are collecting revenue.”