The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the release of 50,000 metric tons of maize to 12 major producers from strategic maize reserve (SMR) under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
Action is aimed at stemming down the arbitrary increase in the price of maize which could cripple poultry business in the country.
This is about the third of such releases and it also intended to check the activities middlemen that could cause artificial scarcity by hoarding the product.
The CBN in a statement listed the recipients of the grains to include Premier Flour Mills, Crown-Olam, Grand Cereals, Animal Care, Amobyn and Hybrid Feeds. Others are Obasanjo Farms, Zartech, Wacot, Sayeed Farms, Pandagri Novum and Premium Farms.
The CBN spokesman, Osita Nwanisobi, has on account of this development expressed optimism that the action would crash the price of maize, reduce pressure on the market, and make the product directly available to feed producers, thereby reducing the price of poultry feed in the country.
As part of the bank’s financing framework, Nwanisobi said the CBN would continue to facilitate the funding of maize farmers and processors through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) Commodity Association, Private/Prime Anchors, state governments, Maize Aggregation Scheme (MAS), and the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS).
Also speaking on the development, the National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Dr. Bello Abubakar, urged middlemen to desist from taking advantage of the supply gap to hike the price of the grains.
He also assured that farmers in Nigeria would maintain reasonable pricing of the products.
The CBN, while responding to the activities of middlemen in January 2021, released 300,000 metric tons of maize, which forced the substantial reduction in the price of maize per metric ton.
Similarly, the bank, in a renewed move to address the rising cost of food prices in the Nigerian market, collaborated with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) to distribute 27,000 metric tons of rice paddies directly to millers nationwide on Thursday, June 24, 2021.