By Olayinka Olawale
Lagos, Oct. 12, 2020 The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has assured Nigerians of sufficient supply of local rice ahead of the yuletide.
Mr Kabir Ibrahim, AFAN National President said this while speaking with journalists on Monday, in Lagos while speaking on the availability of rice during the yuletide.
Ibrahim said that farmers have been directed to embark on dry season farming to bridge the supply gap and increase production.
He said that AFAN was relying on raining season production to have sufficient supply adding that farmers would soon begin harvest of the commodity.
According to him, the only thing is that, we will rely on production because rice harvest will soon start for raining season.
“We are asking our people to do the dry season farming and if done contiguously, there will be sufficient rice in the market and the price will come down.
“There will be a lot of local rice in the market, by the end of the year, therefore, the price will come down,” he said.
The AFAN president said that the problem affecting the supply of the commodity was due to prevailing high demand adding that the problem was not limited to rice alone.
“If you take yam for instance, the new yam is coming out now, yam that used to sell for N1,000 is now been sold between N400 and N300.
“Even maize that was sold for between N17,000 and N20,000 is now being sold between N12,000 and N13,000.
“The same thing applies to sorghum, the price is high but farmers are harvesting now, so when it gets to the market, the price will come down,” he said.
Ibrahim said that with the present situation of things, there may not be immediate drop in price of commodities due to many factors.
He said that the current depreciation in the value of the naira was a challenge to farmers.
He added that the country must come to terms with realities because each time the value of naira depreciated the prices of imported goods including fertiliser rise.
“The value of our currency is going down and the same farmers will buy from the same market others buy from.
“So they must get good value for their produce to be able to compete favourable in the market.
“I believe that in this country, we have to come to terms with reality of the value of our currency because it is happening also the fertiliser price,” Ibrahim said.
He faulted calls for price control by government saying that it was not done anywhere in the world.
He said price control was only applicable during the stone age adding that it was no longer fashionable.
“You cannot control price of commodities in a liberal market and mixed economy like ours.
“No where in the world can you do price control.
“Price control is like going back to the stone age, you cannot do that; the price is determined by the market forces.
“If you allow prices to be determined by the market, they are more liberal and realistic.