THAT the cost of food prices have been rising in the country is saying what is obvious, and two things are responsible for this.
First, we import the majority of the food we consume; this, therefore, is one of the reasons the naira is weakening against major world currencies.
The second reason is that the little food we produce have been reduced with the Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen’s attacks on farming communities.
Our farmers have been displaced from their lands, and we now rely majorly on food importation to keep our people from starving.
Now, since the middle of last year, food prices have been going up astronomically, thereby, making more Nigerians fall deeper into poverty.
If the government must curb the rise, then it must first ensure that every part of the Nigerian territory is safe for habitation. While this may be a Herculean task, it is something that can be achieved. When everywhere is safe in the country, then farmers who have been displaced by violence will return to their lands.
Government must now begin to encourage backyard farming; we need to utilise available spaces around us to grow food.
Nigerians should look at the spaces beside them to grow corn, tomatoes, vegetables, bananas, among others. This will go a long way in reducing the prices households pay for food.
A family that has vegetables at a backyard farm will not go to the market to buy vegetable again.
Also, a family that has corn planted at the space beside the family house can make do with cooked corn for lunch.
The Federal Government should also encourage wealthy Nigerians to go into farming, as this set of people have the financial resources to establish large scale farms that will provide food for millions of people at a time. We must begin to see ourselves as the solution to our problems.
If the truth must be told, foreign investors will not invest in any country that is facing security challenges. Our government officials should, therefore, stop wasting taxpayers’ monies by travelling all over the world in the name of trying to bring in foreign investment.
We should be able to look at what we can do for ourselves in order to get out of this terrible economic situation that we find ourselves in.
It is important we see this current economic crisis as an opportunity to become self-reliant.
- Uju Nicolas,