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FEC To Ban Foreigners From Buying Produce Directly From Farmers — Minister
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a memo prepared to promote agriculture business in Nigeria through right farm gate pricing and the ban on foreigners and their representatives from purchasing agricultural commodities at the farm gates.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, announced this on Wednesday while briefing State House reporters after the federal cabinet meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He said with the approval, only licensed local buying agents who must be registered by the relevant national commodity associations will be able to buy goods directly from the farmers and sell to the foreigners.
Adebayo said the farmers will no longer be cheated by the foreigners who just throw money at them and are able to buy their goods.
“As you are all aware, this memo was necessitated by the need for government to establish an appropriate mechanism that would not only protect our farmers in terms of achieving the right prices for their goods and commodities but also ensure that they have the appropriate incentives and the needed encouragement to guarantee their continued participation in the farming business.
“Over the years, foreigners have been going to the farm gates and buying produce from the farmers at low prices, thus disincentivizing the farmers from continuing with their trade,” he said.
Adebayo said the council also approved Trade Policy Action Plan with the theme, “Unleashing Nigeria’s Development Potentials through Trade and Investment.”
He said the action plan would utilise the existing national trade policy to facilitate the effective use of international trade and investment as tools for economic growth and poverty reduction in the country.
The minister said with the approval, a committee would be inaugurated to look into how to update the existing trade policy which was last updated in 2002 and come up with an investment policy before the end of this year.
“The whole idea is that because of we’re not making as much money as we used to from the sale of oil, and because of reduction in the money that comes from that aspect of Nigeria’s revenue generation, we want to utilize trade as a means of generating revenue for the country…
“So, we’ve got approval from Council today to engage with all the ministries, departments and agencies involved in trade and revenue generation, and also the organized private sector and civil society organisations to ensure a successful implementation of the trade policy action plan.”