The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the release of 50,000 metric tons of maize to 12 maize producers, from the strategic maize reserve (SMR) as part of its sustained drive towards achieving food security in Nigeria
The beneficiary farming entities are Premier Flour Mills, Crown-Olam, Grand Cereals, Animal Care, Amobyn and Hybrid Feeds, Obasanjo Farms, Zartech, Wacot, Sayeed Farms, Pandagri Novum and Premium Farms.
According to CBN, the release of the grains which is the third tranche in a series under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), is to enable moderation and price control and check activities of middlemen that cause hoarding and artificial scarcity in the domestic market.
A statement issued by the apex bank’s spokesperson, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, CBN spokesman, expressed the CBN management’s optimism that the release would significantly reduce the prices of maize in the market.
He stated that the intervention would make the product directly available to feed producers, thereby reducing the price of poultry feed in the country.
Nwanisobi re-affirmed the apex bank’s readiness to continue to facilitate the funding of maize farmers and processors through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme Commodity Association comprising Private/Prime Anchors, State Governments, Maize Aggregation Scheme and the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme.
Reacting to the CBN’s intervention, National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria, Dr Bello Abubakar, appealed to middlemen in the maize value chain to eschew all acts that are capable of accentuating the supply gap and encourage the hiking of the prices of maize grains in the domestic market.
The leading maize farmer assured that farmers would maintain reasonable pricing of the grains in the market
It would be recalled that the apex bank had in January released 300,000 metric tonnes of maize to the market thereby helping to reduce the price and subvert the activities of middlemen that were hoarding the crop for the purposes of creating artificial scarcity in the market.