The Senate on Monday called on the Federal Government to establish price index for agricultural produce to address price fluctuations.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu made the call at the 10th edition of the National Agriculture Show and 2017 World Food Day Celebration.
The event held in Nasarawa was organised by the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Adamu said that establishing price index would encourage farmers and reduce food glut being experienced across the country.
He regretted that since the abolishment of marketing boards, there had not been any alternative to assist in price fixing, warehousing and possible export of produce to assist farmers.
“Nigerians have answered the clarion call made by President Muhammadu Buhari on bringing agriculture to the front burner.
“However, I want to call the attention of the government, on behalf of the foundation and farmers in Nigeria, to the fact that we still need a major step to be taken.
“What is happening now is that when farmers see that a particular commodity has attractive earnings, they rush to that particular commodity in the following planting season.
“When that happened, we have glut and the price will go down. This is what farmers are going through.
“It is my hope that the government in its wisdom will take all the necessary steps that will make us have price index,’’ he said.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the objective of the celebration was to heighten public awareness on hunger and focus attention on agriculture and food production.
Ogbeh who was represented by Dr Bukar Hassan, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said that the celebration was also to promote the transfer of technology and encourage rural participation especially women and youths in agriculture.
He reiterated the Government commitment to addressing the issue of food insecurity in the country.
Gov. Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State said “agriculture is currently the highest earner of foreign exchange in the country’’.
Al-Makura, represented by his Deputy, Mr Silas Agara, expressed the optimism that the sector would record more successes.
Mr Suffyan Koroma, the Country Representative of FAO, said the slogan of the 2017 World Food Day was “Change the Future of Migration, Invest in Food Security and Rural Development’’.
Quoting FAO’s 2017 Food Security and Nutrition report, Koroma said that 815 million people around the world suffered from hunger in 2016 as result of conflict, drought and floods.
“Conflict, rural poverty and climate change, all demand increasing attention. FAO is working with the government of Nigeria to address the root causes of migration,’’ he said.
Alhaji Kabir Ibrahim, the National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), stressed the need for improved technology to promote food production in the country.