The Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to set a time line to ban the importation of maize into the country.
The group’s National Coordinator, Mr Redson Tedheke, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the suspension of the import would protect local farmers and encourage massive production of the commodity.
According to him, unchecked importation of maize remains a major threat to local production and President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural revolution drive.
He said local farmers must be protected to invest more, so that Nigeria would become self sufficient in maize production.
“The Federal Government must set an immediate time scale to ensure that maize is not imported within months, like was done with rice.
“You cannot tell people to go to farm and then allow massive importation of the same thing they are conveniently producing.
“We feel that is insincerity of purpose, and we are telling government that if you allow continuous importation of maize, you are actually working against those you urge to go to the farm.
“The Nigeria farmers group, have 2,000 hectares of maize farm across the nation, and it is still cultivating more,” he said.
Tedheke noted that some Agro-business firms operating in Nigeria were importing large quantities of maize at relatively ‘’low landing cost.’’
He also said that that although maize was not currently on Nigeria’s import prohibition list, there was need to check excessive importation to protect local producers in their quest to grow the economy from within.