By Dipo Olowookere
The Task Force on Food Security constituted by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, has identified some of the factors contributing to unduly high food prices, especially at urban markets throughout the country.
At its inaugural meeting on Friday, the task force said some of these factors are poor state of rural infrastructure like roads, multiple revenue collecting points on the highways, and inadequacy of distribution networks-all of which contribute, among other things to high transportation costs.
At the meeting presided over by the Acting President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, the task force said it will focus on gaining a full understanding of all factors and also consider ways and means of urgently ameliorating the situation, particularly by addressing issues of affordability and availability.
In particular, it identified some key staple foods and the factors that were most likely driving high food prices in some parts of the country, despite bumper harvests at many farms.
The task force said government could most usefully intervene by resolving the bottlenecks already identified.
The panel will be coordinating various MDAs and working closely with the private sector to explore ways and means of overcoming some of the supply bottlenecks in the short term, while also reinforcing on-going medium and long-term solutions including improving supplies and providing better storage.
A more technical sub-group of the Task Force is now drawing up a draft plan of action for further consideration.
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