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FG suspends taxes on some food imports to curb rising prices

by Business News Report

Minister of Agriculture Abubakar Kyari has said that President Bola Tinubu Administration has unveiled measures to overcome high Food prices across the country. According to him  the measures include “A 150-day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities: a suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders) b. These commodities include Maize, Husked Brown Rice, Wheat and Cowpeas. c. Imported food commodities will be subjected to a recommended retail price (RRP). Others are that the government would not compromise the safety of  the various food items for consumption. In addition to the importation by the private sector, the Federal Government will import 250,000MT of Wheat and 250,000MT of Maize. The imported food commodities in their semi-processed state will target supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.

It also said “Government to engage relevant stakeholders to set a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) and mop up surplus assorted food commodities to restock the National Strategic Food Reserve; continuous ramp-up production for the 2024/2025 farming cycle; sustained support to smallholder farmers in the ongoing wet season farming through existing government initiatives; strengthen and accelerate Dry Season Farming across the country; embark on aggressive agricultural mechanisation and development to reduce drudgery, drive down the cost of production and boost productivity; collaborate with Sub-National to identify irrigable lands and increase land under cultivation; work closely with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, to rehabilitate and maintain irrigation facilities under river basin authorities across the federation; development of a strategic engagement for youth and women across the federation for immediate greenhouse cultivation of horticultural crops such as tomatoes and pepper to increase production volume, stabilise prices, and address food shortages”.

According to the Minister “Federal Government is to fast-track ongoing engagements with the Nigerian Military to rapidly cultivate arable lands under the Defence Farms Scheme while encouraging other Para-Military establishments to put secured available arable lands for cultivation. The Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee will be inaugurated on Tuesday, 9th July 2024 to develop and implement policies that prioritize livestock development and ensure alignment with the National Livestock Transformation Plan initiated by the past administration; government to enhance Nutrition Security through: a. the promotion of production of fortified food commodities and b. offer necessary support to scale up the Home Garden Initiative by the Office of The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He said that over the next 14 days, in close collaboration with the Presidential Food Systems Coordinating Unit (PFSCU) and the Economic Management Team (EMT), the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security will convene with the respective Agencies to finalise the implementation frameworks. The PFSCU will manage a dashboard for Mr. President, providing him with direct visibility into these interventions and ensuring accountability. These measures will be implemented over the next 180 days and information will be publicly available to facilitate the participation of all relevant stakeholders across the country.”

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