The Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria has described the planned restriction of forex on wheat by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as “an impressive policy and a welcome development.’’
The national president of the association, Alhaji Salim Saleh Muhammad, said the problem of stagnation in wheat production was a reflection of the growing reliance on importation, food aids and increasing degradation of the natural resources due to excessive land utilisation.
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“Nigeria consumes five million metric tons of wheat per annum, but a meagre 420,000 tonnes of the commodity are produced locally. Nigeria spends USD 6.1 billion (N2.5 trillion) to import about 5.2 million metric tonnes of wheat. Despite the numerous challenges that plague local production, this will enable the government to unlock the potentials in the wheat sub-sector,” he said.
The farmers opined that forex restriction would give relevant stakeholders the confidence to invest in wheat, adding that with the new policy, wheat farmers would be encouraged to increase production.
“If implemented, the policy would drive more production of improved quality seeds, access to market and better prices for their produce.
“We appeal to the government not to withdraw this ban as it provides opportunities for private investors in wheat production,” the farmers stated.