The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will release about 300,000 metric tons of maize into the Nigerian market from strategic anchors under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
The release, expected in February 2021, according to the National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) Alhaji Bello Abubakar, should drive down the cost of maize from the current N155,000 per metric ton and consequently impact feed price.
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With the release, it is expected that the price of maize in the Nigerian market will drop significantly, thereby increasing demand for the produce and ultimately enhancing the gains of maize farmers.
Prior to the CBN and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) collaboration, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of 30,000 tons of maize from the National Strategic Grain Reserve to support the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) at a subsidised rate.
Alhaji Abubakar attributed the current shortfall in the quantity of maize available in the market to include insecurity around the major maize producing belt of Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and part of Kano state. He also said there were middlemen and others who hoard the grain.
Abubakar also said over 200,000 farmers have been given credit to produce over 25 million metric ton of maize in the 2020/2021 planting season.
Commenting, Mr. Ayodeji Balogun of AFEX, attributed the hike in price to the cash-flow problem of farmers which has compelled them to resort to collecting cash from buyers ahead of production and resort to side-selling, especially across the borders to neighbouring countries due to higher prices.