No fewer than 300,000 metric tons of maize will be released into the Nigerian market by strategic anchors under the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), in February.
National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria, Bello Abubakar who revealed this to newsmen recently, added that the release would lead to a crash in the price of the commodity.
The Federal Government in July 2020 had placed a ban on the issuance of forex for the importation of maize which led to increased demand from local processors, and a resultant scarcity and price inflation.
The aftermath of the order was the sale of the commodity for N155,000 per metric ton, with several consumers and poultry farmers feeling the brunt.
Abubakar, however, noted that the situation will be under control by February, as the CBN has now released credit to about 2,000 farmers which will, in turn, facilitate the increase in their production capacity.
According to him, this would bolster maize production as well as lead to a drop in the price of maize, from N155,000 per metric tonne to N120,000 per metric tonne.
He also attributed the shortfall in the quantity of maize available in the market to insecurity around the major maize producing belt of Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and part of Kano states.
Abubakar further stated that hoarders and middlemen are responsible for the scarcity and exorbitant price of maize.
The president, however, noted that the situation has not deterred the farmers from fulfilling their mandate- to help the country attain a state of self-sufficiency in food production.
He charged the middlemen to avoid hiking the price, owing to the existing supply gap and urged the Federal Government to put in place adequate measures to protect farmers from market shocks.