The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to moderate and control the prices of maize, has approved the release of 50,000 metric tonnes of the grain to 12 ‘major’ producers, from strategic maize reserve (SMR) under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
Similarly, the Bank, to address the rising cost of food, collaborated with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) to distribute 27,000 metric tonnes of rice paddies directly to millers.
The release of maize to the companies, which is the third of such releases, is to also check the activities of middlemen who hoard the product and cause artificial scarcity, the CBN spokesman, Osita Nwanisobi said in a statement.
Mr Nwanisobi said with this action, the price of maize would crash, it would also reduce pressure on the market, and make the product directly available to feed producers, thereby reducing the price of poultry feed.
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).
National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Dr. Bello Abubakar urged middlemen to stop taking advantage of the supply gap to hike the price of the grains.