Abuja- An Effective rail and road transportation system will help to reduce the cost of foodstuff in Nigeria, an agricultural expert has said.
Mr Alpheaus Kimbeghi, a food technologist, said this on Wednesday in Abuja in an interview while reacting to the high cost of foodstuffs.
Kimbeghi said that the lack of access roads to move farm produce to markets was the major reason for the intermittent hikes in the prices of foodstuffs and other goods.
“Government’s readiness to put our railways back on track will go a long way in ensuring that foodstuffs easily get evacuated from the villages to the cities.
“Similarly, road maintenance, construction and opening of new roads, will make it easy for more goods to get to the market, thereby reducing the cost,’’ he said.
Kimbeghi noted that traders spent more money on transportation because lorries and trucks, which often conveyed their goods, cost more to hire.
“Traders charge the cost of hiring trucks to the consumer.
“Now that the rains and the roads are getting worse, prices in the market will escalate too,’’ he added.
He attributed the huge influx of people from the rural areas to urban centres to the decline in agriculture and the frustration suffered by farmers in getting their goods across to buyers.
He said that several farmers had been compelled to leave their occupation and large expanse of farm lands to engage in menial jobs such as commercial motorcycle business, because their food production efforts were not appreciated.
“A lot of taxi drivers, okada men and wheelbarrow pushers have suffered losses on their farms and have refused to farm,” he said.
The food technologist stressed that an efficient rail transportation system, coupled with good road networks linking villages, cities, and markets would curb the hike in the cost of goods. (NAN)