By Gabriel Ewepu
THE umbrella body of farmers in Nigeria, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Friday commended President Muhammadu Buhari, over stoppage of foreign exchange for fertilizer and food importation into the country.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National President, AFAN, Arc Kabir Kankara, while reassuring Nigerians and government that there is no need to panic that current high food prices will definitely subside around November when new crops will be available.
The farmers also expressed joy that with the order from Buhari to stop forex for importation of the commodities will protect and support smallholder farmers to produce more food for over 200 million mouths.
The statement with subject, ‘The Attainment of Food Security in Nigeria Against all Odds: The Farmers’ Resolve’ reads in part, “AFAN applauds President Buhari on the instruction to the CBN not to give foreign exchange to anyone importing fertilizer and food into the country.
“AFAN is also happy with the decision to continue the support to the SHFs to enable them upscale their production of food crops to enable the realization of the much-desired Food Security in the country.
“AFAN is most appreciative of the President’s decision to compensate farmers who suffered flooding recently too.
“We are also confident that the soaring prices of food crops being experienced now are largely due to the perennial offseason reasons and will definitely subside around November when new crops will be available.”
The statement also made it known that farmers numbering over 40 million in Nigeria are on ground and have resolved to work patriotically and assiduously to ensure there is food sufficiency in the country.
According to the statement, their resolve to ensure food is sufficiently available, affordable and accessible is a way of reciprocating the President’s order to stop forex in fertilizer and food importation.
“The Nigerian farmers have resolved to work assiduously to bring about food sufficiency and ultimately food security to Nigeria as a reciprocal gesture to the President’s uncommon support to Nigeria’s agriculture”, it added.
It would be recalled that following shortage of maize there was an increase of price in feed for the poultry industry in Nigeria, which also affected prices of the commodity for human consumption that led to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, approving importation of 262,000 tonnes of the commodity by four companies including Wacot Limited, Chi farms Limited, Crown Flour Mills Limited and Premier Feeds Company Limited to mitigate the price hike and scarcity.