THE National Economic Council (NEC) has cited the restrictive effect of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the recent #EndSARS protest and the violent activities that trailed as some of the factors responsible for rising prices of food items.
This was part of the report presented to the Council by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari during Thursday’s virtual NEC meeting, chaired by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), in Abuja.
According to the report, the COVID-19 scenario delayed annual planting and harvesting, while the #EndSARS crisis reportedly stalled food transportation and delivery, as well as widespread looting and destruction of food stores.
Besides the two factors, the report also cited the security breaches in the northwest, which had largely prevented farmers access to their farms; the ceaseless clashes between farmers and herders, which saw to the destruction of farm produce in some states; and the rising cost of transportation.
NEC, however, proffered solutions to mitigate the harsh effects of the situation, prescribing steps to take to both the federal government and the states.
“Council received the presentation on the above subject matter with current food price situation analysis showing that: Food prices have changed between September and November involving commodities in Lagos and a few randomly selected states.
“The Hike in prices is due to the following factors; Delay in going out to farm, which translates to delay in harvesting courtesy of COVID-19 pandemic.