The Lagos State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA) has started selling rice and other food stuff at reduced prices to prevent hoarding and overpricing during the yuletide.

Mr. Jide Ajenifuja, Assistant General Manager, Commercial, LAISA, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.

He said that the sale is aimed at stabilising the market prices and not to take over businesses from traders in the market.

“In agribusiness, the moment government comes with the price, the suppliers and also those who are hoarding rice will want to increase the price.

“In Abuja now, a bag of rice goes for about N50, 000 and above.

“Now, the state government says a bag of rice is N37,000; we know that Christmas and also election is approaching, therefore, nobody will want to hoard it more than necessary.

“Long grain local rice cost N37,000 per 50kg bag, three liters of Soya bean Oil cost N5,000 while one liter of Soya bean sells for N1,900,’’ he said.

The assistant general manager said that there was substantial products in stock and that LAISA would purchase more commodities with availability of funds.

He further said that the commodities would be available till 2023 next year because of the election.

He said that LAISA started the sale of  products at Oko-Oba, Agege, on Monday.

READ ALSO: 13% Derivation: Delta Access N44.7bn Out Of N240bn — Commissioner

”We want to create the awareness that people can purchase rice and oil for the festive period at our office.

“People have started making orders, and we will start delivering them from Wednesday,” he said.

Ajenifuja, however, pointed out that the price of agricultural commodities is fluctuating due to inflation and other crisis globally.

“Last year, we sold rice between N24,000 and N26,000; even early this year, we sold rice at N28,000. But now, it is N37,000 per 50kg.

“The price of agricultural commodities is fluctuating. Fertiliser for instance sold  for N7,000 between February and March, but it rose to N27,000 in June and July.

“We knew that there is a looming food crisis. It has already started happening in Egypt, Kenya and other developed countries than Nigeria.

“We need to secure Lagos in terms of food security because we will be on the receiving end,” he said.

The assistant general manager said that the agency had seven centres across the state with branches in Epe, Ikorodu, Badagry, Ojo, Oko-Oba, and Ajah,

“We sell fertiliser, agro-chemicals, cages and many more. Our primary responsibility is the sale of agricultural produce. We normally sell rice during Christmas.

“Our Imota rice mill will be rolling out soon. We will continue to supply rice at affordable price and urged residents to visit the centres for their agricultural commodities,” he said.

Ajenifuja added that the agency planned to take the sale of commodities to Ikorodu as soon as it is approved.