The federal government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said it won’t allow insecurity to stop food production in the country.
The Minister, Abubakar Mahmood, said that the government is doing everything possible to ensure farmers safety and to enable farmers return to their farms without being kidnapped.
He also promised that the government would not allow insecurity to cease food production in Nigeria.
He said, “The government is doing whatever it can and is at the top of the issue. I can assure you that the government will not allow insecurity to stop our food production.
“As you can see, food is produced widely across the country and we will make sure it does not stop.
“And as a result of that farmers using the Agro-Rangers as some kind of protection, but honestly the root of the matter is to collaborate and find ways to solve the problem permanently.”
Mahmood also disclosed that the Federal Executive Council has approved the ban on the direct purchase of agricultural produce from local farmers by foreign merchants.
He said this decision was taken because most foreign traders who purchased agricultural commodities at farm-gate prices in Nigeria were taking advantage of local farmers with respect to the payments made for such produce.
Mahmood said, “On allowing foreigners to buy farm produce from farmers at farm-gate prices, about a month ago or two we were able to get a memo approved by the Federal Government through the Federal Executive Council on this issue
“And why is this so, when the foreign trader purchase at farm-gate price, the farmer gets lesser than what ordinarily he or she should receive.”
Mahmood outlined some of the states where the government had approved the establishment of Special Agricultural Processing Zones, they include Kaduna, Kano, Ogun, Nasarawa and four others.