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Farm gate prices: FG inaugurates committee to implement ban on foreigners

Farm gate prices: FG inaugurates committee to implement ban on foreigners
August 17
10:42 2022

The federal government has inaugurated an inter-ministerial standing committee to implement a memo that seeks to promote agri-business and ban foreigners from buying agricultural products at farm gates.

Adeniyi Adebayo, minister of industry trade and investment, inaugurated the committee on Tuesday.

Adebayo said the move was part of the government’s efforts to provide the enabling environment for the commodity sub-sector to thrive.

According to him, the memo seeks to end unfair trade malpractices and exploitation of Nigerian farmers by foreigners, and foster competitive premium pricing as the impetus for increased productivity in the commodity sub-sector among others.

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The minister further bemoaned the exploitation of farmers by foreigners who 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,” Adebayo said.

“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.

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“A number of activities have been outlined for implementation and the committee is expected to ensure that they are properly articulated and implemented for the growth and development of our economy.”

Adebayo also said the committee would facilitate the establishment of enforcement organs in the states and local governments, and facilitate the signing of executive order by the president, specifying penalties and fines for violators.

He said it would further liaise with the state governments for the establishment of commodity aggregation centres for export in some strategic locations nationwide and, carry out periodic assessments on the implementation.

On his part, Suleman Audu, chairman of the committee, said the committee was ready to provide the required leadership and coordination that would guarantee the efficient implementation of its mandate.

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TheCable had reported that the federal executive council (FEC) approved the memo, tagged ‘Promotion of agri-business in Nigeria through right farm gate pricing and ban of foreigners from purchasing agricultural commodities at the farm gates’ in March.

The approval meant that only licensed and duly registered local buying agents can buy farm produce directly from farmers in Nigeria.

It was also said the attorney-general would draft a law that would be sent to the national assembly to support the implementation of the new policy.

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