The Vice Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019 elections, Mr Peter Obi, has bemoaned the continual hike in food prices, saying if such trend is left unabated, more Nigerians could be further dragged into poverty.
He made this known during his visit to Mary Agro Farms, Udi, Enugu State, founded by the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Most Rev Ernest Obodo. Obi described agriculture as a pivotal component of human existence.
Obi said that the hike in food prices was reducing the purchasing power of the people and generating more hunger in society, thus pushing more Nigerians into poverty. Quoting recent World Bank report on Food Price Inflation, Obi said “About 5.6 million additional Nigerians would be living in poverty. While food price inflation would decrease purchasing power and raise poverty across Nigeria”.
He explained that government must intervene with policies that will stop the rising cost of living, especially foods, as it is becoming increasingly difficult for many Nigerians to live above the poverty line.
While praising Bishop Obodo for undertaking such a productive venture capable of not only satisfying the food production needs of the immediate environment, but generating jobs for the within the locality, Obi pointed out that insecurity across the country has been the bane of farming in the nation.
Obi stated that government has a major role to play in growing the agricultural sector and improving food production. In his words “Many farms, today, are abandoned by farmers due to high level of insecurity across the country, thus drastically reducing food production. Government needs to intervene and ensure that farmers go about their activities safely.
“Again, when I talk about government’s support for businesses, it is something we cannot do without. The Bishop today has a large poultry, a big fish pond, a growing piggery and large farms for cultivation of different kinds of crops, with advanced technology. All these he achieved with personal resources. Imagine how far he will go if government gives him much needed necessary support”.
He pledged his support to the Obodo’s agro projects saying “as you know, I will always support any venture that will better our lives as humans and make our society better. The work you are doing here is admirable and I will always support you”.