All plans are on deck by the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment on Ban of Foreigners from Purchasing Agricultural Commodities at the Farm Gates, earlier approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Otumba Adeniyi Adebayo, who inaugurated an inter-ministerial standing committee on Tuesday, in Abuja also said the Federal Government has also begun moves to implement a Memo on the Promotion of Agri-Business in Nigeria through Right Farm Gate Pricing.
Adebayo noted that the move was part of government’s efforts to provide the enabling environment for the commodity subsector to thrive.
The minister said the memo is “aimed at addressing the challenges impeding the development of the agricultural commodity subsector of the economy, curtailing unfair trade malpractices and exploitation of Nigerian farmers by foreigners and promoting competitive premium pricing as impetus for increased productivity in the commodity subsector amongst others.”
He decried the exploitation of farmers by foreigners who come to Nigeria to mop up agricultural commodities at the farm gates and in turn offer farmers prices below market value.
“This situation has indeed led to the failure of many contractual agreements between farmers and indigenous off-takers. It has also affected the production capacity of our local factories due to the fact that foreigners buy off supplies and deprive the factories of required stocks.
“The current practice of direct purchases of agricultural commodities at unfair prices by foreigners at our farm-gates poses serious dangers which include: reduction in farmers’ income, declining productivity in the agricultural sector, unemployment and insecurity,” he said.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Suleman Audu, expressed the readiness and willingness of the committee to provide the required leadership and coordination to ensure efficient implementation of its mandate.
Audu, who appreciated the government for the confidence reposed in them, pledged on behalf of the committee members not to disappoint the government on the very important assignment.