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 TACKLING FOOD PRICES INFLATION

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Inflation is a decrease in the purchasing power of money, which shows in the general increase in the prices of goods and services in an economy. It is not news anymore that what a specific amount of money can buy yesterday, it would not buy today because of the high cost of everything.

The saddest part of this is inflation in the food sector. Like seriously, why should something people can not live without be difficult to afford day after day by the average person?

The need to tackle food prices inflation is crucial. Because if hands are folded on this matter then it will keep getting worse.

The constant demand for food is on the increase and the rate of the food supply is decreasing. That is why food prices are inflated. Globally, food prices have reached their highest in almost seven years. The level of food inflation and hunger further increased at the time when the Covid-19 pandemic hit economies around the world.

The incessant rise in food prices is making people nervous; there is fear of hunger or starvation. There is a need for intervention so food security can be a global gain.

The first thing to consider is to boost food production. Government policymakers, experts, and scientists have to create an urgent action to engage more youths in agricultural production to tackle unemployment and food insecurity.  For those already in the agricultural sector, the government should adopt technologies that will make crops resilient to weather and boost farmers’ income. This will encourage them to continue in the farming business.

Extreme poverty and hunger would be a thing of the past if farmers and researchers become more innovative in the development of a sustainable and efficient agricultural sector.

These government policies should also include reduced taxes on imports of food commodities, bilateral arrangements to import food, administrative control of food prices, food subsidies to consumers, and social safety net programs, including feeding programs, food for workers, and strengthening of existing public distribution systems. When marketing sectors are allowed and encouraged to function more without the hassle of license and taxation laws, then food prices would not be inflated. The more marketers, the higher the competition and supply level, the lesser the food prices.

The government should invest in a market information system for accurate and timely data of when to start crop production, trade, and prices. This will send the right price signals from consumers to the supply chain, improve bargaining power and reduce business risk and response time. Research shows that information raises net income per hectare by more than 12%.

As a consumer, be a smart shopper. You should cultivate the habit of buying groceries and food supplies in bulk. The fact remains that when you save up to buy in bulk rather than small quantities, you end up spending less on food.

So to fight food inflation as an individual, shop for what is seasonally available. Buy what is in season, find farmer’s markets, and buy local and in-season food commodities. That is one way to support community agriculture.

Unless we act urgently, our economy is in serious jeopardy of food prices inflation.

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