The President, Maize Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alhaji Bello Abubakar-Funtua, has called on the Federal Government to ban importation of maize into the country to boost local production.
Abubakar-Funtua made the call while addressing a news conference in Kano on Wednesday.
He said the call was necessary in order to encourage farmers to produce the commodity locally and boost food production in the country.
“There is urgent need to effect measures aimed at stopping importation of maize into the country for local production of the commodity to be realistic,” he said.
According to him, if the Federal Government allows the importation of the commodity to continue, it will discourage farmers from the business.
He said massive importation of the commodity would crash its price at the detriment of local producers which at the end could send them out of business.
“The present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need for Nigerians to go back to farming to ensure massive food production.
“This will also reduce poverty among unemployed youths and improve the living standard of the people.”
He said the priority attention accorded to local production by farmers would be counterproductive if the Federal Government allowed the importation of the commodity to continue.
“Farmers producing maize locally will find it difficult to make any profit out of the business.’’
He noted that the only way local producers could be encouraged to sustain the tempo of producing maize locally was to allow them decide the fate of the commodity at local markets.
“When this happens, the Federal Government is at liberty to introduce a price regime that will be acceptable to both the farmers and consumers.“