FCT Minister Flags-Off Sale Of Grains, Wants Transparency

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, August 03, (THEWILL) - FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has flagged-off the sale of buffer stock grains to the general public to push down the prices of foodstuffs in the open market.

The Minister, who flagged-off the ceremony at Area 10, Old-Parade Ground, Garki I District, Abuja said that it is also aimed at cushioning the effect of hunger and malnutrition.

Senator Mohammed lamented that this period of the year is when food shortage is a common feature of many homes which the government is determined to eradicate.

According to him, "the FCT Administration is concerned that prices of staple foods are usually high at this period and has over the years released stored grains from our buffer stock programme."

In consonance with the pledge he made during the last Town Hall Meeting on the preparedness of the FCT Administration to assist the Area Councils with necessary farm inputs, the Minister revealed that arrangement has been concluded to deplore such implements to promote agriculture and boost food production in the Federal Capital Territory.

Senator Mohammed disclosed that under this programme, he has approved the sale 1,271,000 kilogramme (25,420 50kg bags) of grains to the general public at 50 percent subsidy.

"Thus, I have approved the sale of 13,789 bags of maize, 4,389 bags of guinea corn and 7,242 bags of millet in 50kg sizes to the public, Area Councils, Government Agencies and various Farmers’ Associations at a 50 percent subsidy. Accordingly, maize and millet would be sold at N1, 900; while guinea corn will sell at N1, 750," the Minister declared.

Senator Mohammed enjoined all stakeholders, especially management and staff of the FCT Administration handling this programme to ensure transparency and fairness in the distribution and sale of these grains so that the objective of the buffer stock programme will be achieved.

Welcoming guests to the ceremony, the Secretary of the FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mallam Hamza Adamu Buwai said that the Secretariat has since 1996 been implementing the Buffer Stock Programme by either procuring grains directly from our farmers or from Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources.

The Secretary remarked that in 2009, 390 metric tonnes of assorted grains were procured from the farmers and other cooperative groups which were later sold to the public to cushion the escalating cost of staple food items; adding that only two weeks ago, more than 4000 tubers of yam which were mopped up in 2009 were sold to FCT residents.

Mallam Buwai stated that during the 2010 and 2011 cropping season, the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat intends to increase her storage capacity with the addition of the 1000MT capacity specialized warehouse at Tungan Maje.