The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development,Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono has attributed increasing cost of local rice in the markets to many factors worsened by the COVID 19 Pandemic, which is a worldwide phenomenon.
Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono said that the pandemic made transportation of goods and services almost impossible while people resorted to panic buying not to hoard but to safeguard shortage.
The minister said this in Kano over the weekend in an interactive session with journalists.
Solacebase reports that a bag of Nigeria rice hovers between N22,000 and N24,000 in Kano markets.
He also identifed increasing number of consumers of rice in the country due to the fact that rice is easy to use as a staple food.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Minister’s media consultant, Ahmed Aminu and forwarded to Solacebase on Monday.
The statement also explained that the thirteen billion Naira allocated to the agriculture ministry was not meant for pest control spray only.
The minister in the statement said the funds will also be utilised to fight transboundary diseases as the foot and mouth disease affecting cattle, sheep, donkeys, goats.
Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono said the exercise is to be carried out in twelve states which border neighbouring countries as Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin Republic.
The statement said the funds would also be used to address challenging conditions affecting poultry farmers and the Sambora malady afflicting rice and maize products. Rabies among dogs will also be fought beside the rehabilitation of abattoirs across the country.
‘’Alhaji Sabo Nanono stressed that aerial spray to fight the incursion of quelea birds and grasshoppers is a daunting task. The programme has since been completed in Borno, Taraba and Yobe States, while the exercise commences this week in Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States, ‘’said the statement.
Reacting on the alleged outcry of farmers around the Sokoto, Zamfara axis that such spray measures do not usually reach the common man, Sabo Nanono in the statement said new measures put in place now will ensure that such exercise reaches the common farmer in the rural areas.
According to the statement,on the six hundred billion Naira interest-free Agric Loan to be disbursed to farmers, Alhaji Sabo Nanono said already five million people have been registered by GPS to ensure genuineness of those to benefit. Of the five million registered farmers 1.3 million have since been shortlisted for immediate disbursement of the loans.