By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
Amana Farmers and Grain Suppliers Association of Nigeria has advised Nigerian government to stop the importation of maize to protect local farmers and enhance food security in the country.
National Chairman of the Association, Alhaji Haruna-Ahmed Pambeguwa gave the advise in an interview with newsmen in Zaria.
He said despite flooding experience across the country, the farmers would have bumper harvests during the 2020 wet season farming and importing maize after some have commenced harvest would create too much of the product in the market.
The association is lamenting over 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 is being harvested in some parts of the country is retrogressive to President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural revolution drive in the country.
“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.
He said the association is not in support of boarder re-opening to import maize or any other farm produce into Nigeria,
While attributing the high cost of food items being experience in the country to COVID-19 pandemic, he said food prices are low in Nigeria when compared to some other countries.
Pambegua said the association remains optimistic that farmers would have a bumper harvest in this wet farming season which would make prices of food items to come down.
In a related development, the association commended Kebbi State Government for the establishment of agro-allied companies at strategic locations across the state to enhance farming activities.
He added that the companies would provide markets for farmers to sell their products easily and at very good prices and urged other governors to emulate Kebbi State to scale up food production.
Pambeguwa said over 400 kilometers of millet and rice farms were washed away by flood in Kebbi and urged government to support the farmers affected by the incidence to enable them sustain their activities.
“Many farmers have lost their capital due to the flood and some farmers obtained loans to go into farming. Supporting them will greatly encourage them to be in the farm during the next farming season,’’ the chairman said.
He also commended governments at various levels for supporting farmers with low interest loan, fertilizers and other interventions that have impacted positively on small and large scale farming across the country.