Amana Farmers and Grain Suppliers Association of Nigeria, has appealed to the Federal Government to suspend the importation of maize to protect local farmers and enhance food security.
The Chairman of the association, Alhaji Haruna-Ahmed Pambeguwa made the appeal in an interview with News the Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Zaria.
He said that farmers would have bumper harvest during the 2020 wet season farming and importing maize after some have commenced harvest.
He said the association was against the approval obtained by some companies to import over 220 tonnes of maize into Nigeria.
According to him, importation of maize into Nigeria when the local maize was being harvested in some part of the country is retrogressive to President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural revolution drive.
“The importation would make some farmers to lose their investment which will also discourage many farmers to go into farming in the next farming season.
“We are not in support of boarder re-opening to import maize or any other farm produce into Nigeria,’ ’ he said.
The chairman who attributed the high cost of food items being experienced to the COVID-19 pandemic, however said food prices were low in Nigeria when compared to some other countries.
He said that the association remained optimistic that farmers would have a bumper harvest in this wet season farming which would make prices of food items to further reduce.
He commended the Kebbi Government for the establishment of Agro-allied companies at strategic locations across the state to enhance farming activities in the communities.
He advised that such companies should provide markets for farmers to sell their products easily at good prices.
He urged other states to emulate Kebbi to scale up food production.
Pambeguwa said that over 400 kilometres of millet and rice farms were washed away by flood in Kebbi and urged government to support the farmers affected to sustain their activities.
“Many farmers had loss their capital due to the flood and some farmers obtained loans to go into farmers, supporting them will greatly encourage them to face next farming season,’’ the chairman said.
He also appealed to governments at all levels to sensitise farmers to enable them benefit from government interventions and support programmes.
He asked various governments to support farmers with low interest loan, fertilizers and other interventions, that will impact positively on small and large scale farmers across the country.