" /> Experts task govt. on agriculture as inflation slows to 16.1% | Hallmarknews
Published On: Mon, Jul 24th, 2017

Experts task govt. on agriculture as inflation slows to 16.1%

FELIX OLOYEDE|

Economic analysts have called on the Federal government to show more commitment to agriculture in order to boost food production in the country as the Food Inflation Index rose 19.91 percent year-on-year in June 2017.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released this week by National Bureau of Statistics shows that inflation has slowed for the fifth consecutive month since January to 16.10 percent in June from 16.25 percent in May.

The data indicates that Inflation rate slumped 0.15 per cent last month against the previous month of May as the deadline Inflation index increased 1.58 per cent in June, 0.30 per cent points lower than the rate of 1.88 per cent posted in May.

Professor Leo Ukpong, Dean, School of Business, University of Uyo told Business Hallmark in a telephone chat that “There is a lot of lip service in terms of investment in agriculture to improve productivity. I am not quite sure why the prices of food are still very high. Traders seem to have built a psychological anchor that suggests that prices of food should not go down.”

He argues that the marginal lowering of inflation in June was due to a drop in imported fuel, especially diesel whose price has declined significantly from N250-N290 per litre to N155-N170 per litre.

“Government needs to help increase the supply of our staples by financing processing and agricultural produce, this would assist in bringing down food prices,” the Professor of Financial Economics said.

NBS said price movements recorded by All Items less farm produce or Core sub-index rose by 12.50 per cent (year-on-year) in June, down by 0.50 per cent points from rate recorded in May (13.00) per cent.

“The Urban index rose by 16.15 percent (year-on-year) in from 16.34 percent recorded in May, while Rural index increased by 1.57 percent in June from 1.92 per cent in May,” the report showed.

Mr OlusolaAyodele, chief economist, Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Associated (NECA) said it expected that food prices will be high during this period, because it is off harvest season.

He urged government to encourage all round year farming and address wastage by improving storage facilities across the country.

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