Maize Importation: Young Farmers Berate Emergency Approval, Call for Reversal

The Nigeria Young Farmers Network (NYFN) has called for a reversal of the Federal Government’s approval of emergency importation of maize and other import-restricted crops.

The group conveyed its grievances via a statement, noting that the importation approval was a form of disregard for their food security efforts.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved an emergency importation of 262,000 tons of maize, to cushion the blow occasioned by scarcity of the commodity, AgroNigeria reported.

According to the Director-General/National Coordinator of the group, Mr. Promise Amahah, local maize production would revamp Nigeria’s economy.

“As an organization with over a million members nationwide, our ‘raise a million farmers’ was deliberately targeted to create compelling awareness and attraction of our teeming unemployed youth nationwide to ramp up local production of maize and other critical crops which will lead to rapid economic recovery, job and wealth creation.

“For a government that had been at the forefront of import substitution and backward integration, one finds it hard to reconcile its sincerity of purpose with this selective importation approval for maize,” he said.

Amahah said that the importation funds should be channeled to a more productive venture like youth mobilisation for maize and food production in general.

“The sheer cost of providing forex for the five selected companies to import maize will be sufficient to mobilize 10 million young farmers to produce maize nationwide.

“Beyond the massive production potential is the huge numbers of direct and indirect jobs that can be created, capital flight mitigation, enhanced socio-economic livelihood, and ultimate reduction in crime (insecurity),” he said.

The DG expressly urged the government to halt the importation plans.

According to him, young Nigerians should be mobilised to bridge the demand deficit, instead.

This, he noted, would help solve the problems of unemployment and capital flight.

“The worst thing to do is to dampen our efforts in mobilizing young people to engage in the agricultural sector especially in view of the rapidly dwindling economy.

“Youth apathy towards agriculture is a major challenge we are working hard to reverse and anything short of full support to achieve that will be counterproductive for us as a nation,’ he asserted.


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