The Federal Government has released 45,000 tonnes of assorted grains, from the National Strategic Food Reserve (NSFR); to the general public, to cushion the effect of high prices of food commodities in the Country. The grains are paddy rice, gari, millet, maize and sorghum.
Prof Sheik Ahmed Abdallah, Minister of Agriculture while flagging off the occasion, said it was meant to ease the high prices of food stuffs in the country adding that President Goodluck Jonathan had directed that the grains be sold at subsidised prices. He said that 15,000 tonnes of assorted grains had been approved, as donation, to Niger and Chad Republics, to fight hunger in the two countries, as requested by the ECOWAS Committee of Ministers.
According to Abdallah, the commodities are to be sold at 30 per cent subsidy as follows; 50 kg of maize N1, 855 or N37, 100 perÂ tonne, sorghum N 33,600 per tonne and N1, 680 per 50kg bag, 50 kg of millet, N1, 890 or N37, 800 per tonne while 20 kg of gari would go for N1,050 or N42, 100 per tonne while paddy rice goes for N42, 000 per tonne and per 50 kg of the commodity would be sold at N2, 100
He said similar exercise would be carried out in eight other states where the food reserve silos were located; pointing out some allocations had been made for sale to some stakeholders and various groups in the states. Abdallah expressed the hope that state governments would complement the efforts of federal government by releasing food items from their buffer stock for effective realisation of the aims and objectives of the progranmme.
Mallam Ahmed Gafar, a beneficiary commended the government for the release of the grains and called on the officials, charged with the responsibility of executing the programme to shun corruption. Another beneficiary,Mrs Funke Akinloye noted that the effort would go a long way in ensuring that many household, especially the low incone earners have easy access to varieties of grains. She urged government to ensure proper monitoring of the programme to avoid it being hijacked by the middle men.