The Federal Government Â Â Â on Tuesday released 25,000 tonnes of assorted grains from the National Strategic Food Reserve (NSFR) to cushion the effects of high cost of food.
The released grains are maize, sorghum, millet and gari. The Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Dr Sayyadi Ruma, said at a ceremony to release the grains in Abuja that due to the high price of food in the market, President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua directed the release of the grains at subsidised prices.He said the commodities would to be sold at 30 per cent subsidy as follows: 50 kg bag of maize at N1, 925 and N38,500 per tonne, 50 kg bag of sorghum and millet 50 kg N1, 855 and N37, 100 per tonne while 20 kg bag of gari would be sold at N1000 and N45,000 per tonne.
He said that a similar exercise would be carried out in eight other states across the country where food reserve silos were located. The minister said that apart from direct sales at the launch venues, allocations had been made to some states and other stakeholders for onward distribution to various groups.â€œI hereby urge state governments to complement the effort of the Federal Government by releasing food items from their buffer stocks,â€™â€™ he said. Ruma urged farmers to see the release of the grains as an opportunity to produce in large quantities, assuring a ready market through guaranteed minimum price
programme.One of the buyers, Malam Kabir Alâ€™hassan, said the exercise would go a long way to making many households to have easy access to a variety of grains. He noted that the high cost of foodstuff, mostly during the fasting period had restricted many families to feeding on one type of grain.Another buyer, Mrs Felicia Ogwa, commended the Federal Government for the release of the grains but said that it ought to have come earlier than now. Ogwa, however, called for adequate monitoring to ensure that poor people benefited from the exercise.