Residents of Edo State are gearing up for discount shopping at the government’s food market initiated by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to mitigate the impact of the nation’s current economic reality on people in the state.
Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said the state government has undertaken to provide trucks that will be sent to farmers in villages and peri-urban areas, to convey farm produce to venue of the Food and Agric Fair, Imaguero College, in Benin City.
“The farmers will not pay for the transportation of their produce to the fair, the transportation burden will be borne by the state government. With this and other incentives, we are certain that the costs of food items will reduce significantly at the fair,” Osagie said.
“We are urging Edo people and residents in the state to take advantage of the fair as there will be free drinks and free indomie meals for children.
“The price of a bag of rice will begin from N15,000 and the price of a big cow will begin from N150,000 while tomatoes, tubers of yam, plantain and other foodstuffs will be sold at affordable prices,” the governor’s aide added.
Madam Eseosa Igbinidu, a civil servant who resides in Benin City, said she is waiting for the fair to open to shoppers.
“We are aware of the Food and Agric Fair and the timing is also right because we have been paid our November salary. We want to spend our salary wisely and give our families the best treatment in the Yuletide,” she said.
Other residents interviewed, expressed delight at the initiative and commended governor Obaseki for always seeking ways to make life easier for the common man.
“We commend the governor for always seeking ways to reduce the impact of the struggling national economy on Edo people. The idea of a food and agric fair is brilliant and it will be a win-win for farmers who have challenges transporting their produce to the market and consumers, who want more value for their money,” Mr Ugbo Sunday said.
The state government earlier in the week announced that arrangements were on top gear to ensure residents have memorable Christmas celebration with the hosting of the first Food and Agric Fair with the intention to slash prices of foodstuff.
State Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperative and Employment, Emmanuel Usoh, who disclosed this at a press briefing said the fair would show case food produced in the state and also sell same to Edo people at low prices during this Yuletide season.
He said a day would be set aside for farmers and players in the agro allied industries to meet and exchange ideas on the best practices globally, adding that the fair would attend to challenges facing small scale farmers and showcase opportunities in the agric industry, including funding capacities of development banks and partners.
He said; “Products ranging from rice, vegetable oil, onions and all sorts of farm produce will be sold at promotional prices. Poultry products would also be available. There will be a mobile abattoir. Frozen chicken will be available for sale.
“There will be a stand for local cuisine. Beverage companies have indicated interest to participate in the fair. Father Christmas will be there for the children to visit. The children will get free drinks and free food from Dufil foods. Commissioners are to be dressed in Father’s Christmas costumes.
“There will be subsidy for farmers to transport their farm produce to the venue. Farmers in the northern part of the state producing onions have agreed to sell at very low prices.”