The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos State Chapter, has hailed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive on the stoppage of foreign exchange for maize importation in the country.
Dr. Femi Oke, AFAN’s Chairman, Lagos State branch. on Thursday, said the ban was a good development as it would enhance maize farmers to increase their output to meet the demand created by the ban.
He said maize importation always neglected the efforts of local farmers in production, adding that the new policy would enable the country to be self-sufficient in maize cultivation.
According to him, if maize importation is being banned by the CBN, what this means is that our input and output here will be an increase in order to have enough patronage.
“With this development, there will be more demand and more concentration on local farmers, as long as people are not getting supplies from elsewhere than the local farmers.
“We will need to increase our outputs as fast as possible to meet the demand.
“This is a very huge market and the support from the government will help farmers meet up with the increasing demands for maize.
“We are very happy with this development, it is a plus for the agricultural sector,” he said.
Oke said CBN scheme such as Anchor Borrower’s Programme, Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing in Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) loan and others would help farmers adding that there would be more output to serve the consumers.
“We are going to have a lot of local demand now, hence this schemes will help farmers to source for low interest loans to expand their businesses.
“We will increase our production by concentrating more on maize plantation, hence we are sure of getting support from the government to increase our outputs.
“The ban is very good, it is a welcome development that will promote local production as well as become self-sufficient in maize production”.
The chairman urged maize farmers in the country to be happy and also improve their production so as to reap the benefit of the policy.
Oke also said that most seed companies were doing well presently due to funding from the Federal Government adding that seedlings and varieties would not be a challenge in maize production.
He added that the ban would also facilitate more concentration to develop new seedlings that would increase yields that would generate more profits to local farmers.
CBN had on July 13, directed all authorised dealers to discontinue the processing of Form M for the importation of maize with immediate effect.
The CBN made this known in a circular signed by Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, the Director of Trade and Exchange Department of the apex bank in Abuja.
Form M is a mandatory statutory document to be completed by all importers for importation of goods into the country.
The apex bank directed all authorised dealers to submit the list of form M already registered for the importation of maize.
It explained that the step was part of CBN’s efforts to increase local production and stimulate a rapid economic recovery.
The bank added that the measure was to also safeguard rural livelihood and increase job which had been lost due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.