President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s heavy taxes are causing food prices to rise, says All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN).
AFAN’s Enugu chapter chair, Romanus Eze, blamed the hike in prices of foodstuffs on heavy taxation and inadequate preservative centres in the country.
Mr Eze said on Wednesday that farmers faced challenges of legal and illegal taxes across the country.
He said the lack of preservative centres in states took perishable produce out of the markets.
After overcoming the challenges of harvesting their produce, the chairman noted that farmers in Enugu face legal and illegal produce tax collections.
According to him, Enugu farmers have been facing many challenges from local government produce tax collectors.
“These people have been extorting money from farmers starting from the local to the urban markets, and it is the end-users of the commodity that pay for it,” said Mr Eze.
He called on the federal and state governments to abolish some taxes on produce at the local council level.
“It is the cost of farming, harvesting, produce tax, and collection from security agents at checkpoints that cost hike in prices of commodities. Good road networks should not be overlooked as it helps the farmers evacuate their produce to the markets,” he said.
Mr Eze also mentioned that the country must provide preservative centres to sustain the efficacy of perishable goods.
“There is Modern Solar Power Preservative Mechanism that can be constructed at the Local Councils or cluster areas close to farmers,” the AFAN chair added.
Mr Eze regretted the sit-at-home order’s effect on the South-East’s farm markets and economy.
“It affects the farmers because they always harvest their produce at the weekend with the intention of taking it to the markets on Monday,” he stated. “Losing Mondays, which is the beginning of activities in the South-East, tells economically on the lives of the people.”