The Oyo State Chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has expressed concern that the ban on forex for the importation of maize would lead to maize glut.
The Chairman, who doubles as the Assistant National Secretary of the association, Engr. John Olateru, who disclosed this in Ibadan, said farmers of other commodities would migrate to maize cultivation as a result of the policy, saying the same thing had happened to cassava before.
“The timing is bad because this is the period when the price of maize is coming down. The livestock farmers are now at the mercy of the middlemen because of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announcement.
“There is policy summersault. There is no consistency before making such a policy statement; all the stakeholders should be involved. There should be proper coordination. CBN just woke up and rolled out this policy. Whenever a policy of this nature would come up, all stakeholders need to be involved.
“I can tell you that by the rule of natural justice, all farmers will migrate to maize cultivation. Cassava, guinea corn, and yam farmers will migrate to maize cultivation. Whether the CBN intervenes or not, there is a tendency for maize glut this year. But other commodities will suffer. That is what is happening now. Cassava now is not available; because last year cassava farmers suffered a lot as there was heavy glut on cassava. Everyone of them has moved to maize cultivation. The same thing happened to soya.
While suggesting ways out of this challenge, Olaleru said:” The government needs to bring back Commodity Exchange Board. In the US, there is Chicago Commodity Exchange. That is what the US government is using to monitor what is happening. We had it in this country before.
Abuja Commodity Exchange and it was working perfectly because you could open up your newspaper in the morning and know what is the trend is and the prices of commodities on a daily basis. You can know the projection on the yields. Is there any need for the country to import? We can still go back.”
The AFAN boss chided the Federal Government for concessioning strategic grain reserves to private individuals who are hoarding grains, while Nigerians are suffering.