All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has called on the Federal Government to stop the importation of food for the success of the current Agricultural Transformation Agenda. The Financial Secretary of the association, Dr Tunde Arosanyin, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Orosanyin was reacting to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina’s recent declaration that some foreign investors were planning to invest in rice and cassava production in the country.
He said if not stopped, the importation of food items might create serious challenges for Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). Arosanyin advised the Federal Government to encourage local food production instead, by lowering the cost of production so that farmers in the country could make profit from agricbusiness.
He said, “A ton of maize from UK and US ex Apapa port can sell for 28, 000 to 30, 000. Whereas the same ton of maize in Nigeria in terms of cost of production is about 45, 000 to N50, 000, cost of production. Most of us now that produce maize , we have a market offer of N50,000 but we cannot sell because if we do, we will be running at a loss then we may not be able to be active this season. But a field miller or a semovita industry in Lagos is comfortable buying maize from UK or from US at N30,000 or N35,000 because he too wants to make profit .
“Then the same field miller and all the breweries that are making use of maize or sorghum will prefer to buy the imported maize because the price is low.