The Amana Farmers and Grain Suppliers Association of Nigeria (AFGSAN) has said that the government’s decision to allow maize importation would undermine the local production of the commodity.
The group, on Sunday, added that farmers in the country were set to reap a bumper harvest of maize during the 2020 wet season farming.
It expressed dissatisfaction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approval obtained by some companies for the import of maize into the country.
The CBN approved an emergency importation of 262,000 tons of maize, to cushion the blow occasioned by scarcity of the commodity, AgroNigeria reported.
Chairman of the association, Alhaji Haruna-Ahmed Pambegua in a chat with newsmen said that the government’s decision was retrogressive, coming at a time when harvesting of local maize had commenced in some parts of the country.
He said, “The importation would make some farmers lose their investment which will also discourage many farmers to go into farming in the next farming season.
“We are not in support of border re-opening to import maize or any other farm produce into Nigeria”.
On the hike in price of maize, Pambeguwa noted that it was as a result of difficulties occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He asserted that food prices were even low in Nigeria when compared to some other countries.
The chairman, however, restated that his association remained optimistic that farmers would have a bumper harvest in this wet season farming.
He also assured that the prices of food items would decrease, while appealing to the government at all levels to support farmers with low-interest loans, fertilizers among other interventions.
These interventions, he said, would impact positively on small and large scale farmers across the country.