National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria, Bello Abubakar, has revealed that about 300,000 metric tons of maize will be released into the market under the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). According to Abubakar, the release would crash the price of the commodity in Nigeria.
In July 2020, the Federal Government issued a ban on the issuance of forex for the importation of maize. This led to an increase in demand from local farmers, which resulted in scarcity and price inflation. As a result, the price of maize went up to N155, 000 per metric ton, which affected consumers and farmers alike. Poultry farmers have lamented this increase, stating that the sub-sector would suffer if the situation were not resolved.
Another factor that contributed to the shortfalls of maize in the market is insecurity around the major producing states of Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Kano. In addition, hoarders and middlemen also played a part in creating scarcity and exorbitant prices.
Abubakar has noted that the situation would be under control following the release of the products into the market in February. He also revealed that the CBN has released credit to about 2,000 farmers to facilitate the increase in their production capacity.
Despite the unfavorable circumstances, Abubakar assures that the farmers are still dedicated to fulfilling their mandate to help the country reach self-sufficiency in food production. He also charged middlemen to avoid hiking prices and urged government to put adequate measures to protect farmers from market shocks.