Mr Romanus Eze, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Enugu Chapter, has blamed the hike in prices of food stuffs to heavy taxation and inadequate preservative centres in the country.
Eze said in Enugu on Wednesday that farmers faced challenges of both legal and illegal tax payments in states.
He said that lack of preservative centres in the states took lots of perishable produce out of the markets.
The chairman noted that farmers in Enugu State after overcoming the challenges of harvesting their produce face legal and illegal produce tax collections.
According to him, farmers in the state have been facing lots of challenges from the 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”.
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 check points that cost hike in prices of commodities.
“Good road network should not be overlooked as it helps the farmers evacuate their produce to the markets,” he said.
Eze said 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,”..
Eze regretted the effect of the sit-at-home project in the South East, on farm markets, and the region’s economy.
“It affects the farmers because they always harvest their produce at the weekend with intention of taking it to the markets on Monday.
“Losing Mondays which is the beginning of activities in the south east tells economically on the lives of the people,” Eze said.