By: Kazeem Biriowo
Farmers under the aegis of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) on Friday threw their weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision on food and fertilizer importation.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, had warned the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) against implementing any plans geared towards providing forex for the importation of “food items and fertilizers” into the country.
“I am restating it that nobody importing food or fertilizer should be given foreign exchange from the Central Bank. We will not pay a kobo of our foreign reserves to import food or fertilizer. We will instead empower local farmers and producers,” the President had said.
In a statement titled;‘The Attainment of Food Security in Nigeria Against all Odds: The Farmers’ Resolve’, which was issued by the Association’s National President, Arc Kabir Kankara, AFAN stated that the decision will protect and support smallholder farmers to produce more food for over 200 million population in the country.
“AFAN applauds President Buhari on the instruction to the CBN not to give foreign exchange to anyone importing fertilizer and food into the country.
“AFAN is also happy with the decision to continue the support to the SHFs to enable them upscale their production of food crops to enable the realization of the much-desired Food Security in the country,” the statement read in part.
While assuring Nigerians that the current inflation in prices of food commodities would soon subside, it said over 40 million farmers in the country have resolved to work patriotically and assiduously to ensure food sufficiency in the country.
“We are also confident that the soaring prices of food crops being experienced now are largely due to the perennial offseason reasons and will definitely subside around November when new crops will be available.
“The Nigerian farmers have resolved to work assiduously to bring about food sufficiency and ultimately food security to Nigeria as a reciprocal gesture to the President’s uncommon support to Nigeria’s agriculture”, it stated.