By Michael Oche, Abuja
In a bid to end the importation of maize, the National Coordinator of Nigerian Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) Comrade Retson Tedheke has said that the group is putting measures in place to slash the price of maize by 50 per cent if the government continues to provide the necessary farm inputs to support the production of the commodity across the country.
Comrade Tedekhe who disclosed this to LEADERSHIP Friday, revealed that apart from the over 2,000 hectares of maize they are currently harvesting in the on-going dry season maize production by the group, there is clear projection of hitting 5,000 hectares of maize in the next farming season.
He noted that in few months’ time, if appropriate measures were taken by the government to eliminate the huddles farmers go through in assessing farming facilities and in the production of maize, price of the commodity will crash in the market in such a way that it will be a win-win situation for both farmers, industries and consumers.
Currently, the price of a ton of maize is in the range of N120,000, N95,000 and N80,000 in some cases.
This move according to Tedekhe, “is just a tip of an iceberg as it relates to the ongoing agricultural revolution championed by the Buhari administration”, he said.
He also disclosed that from what they have on ground, the price may go down as projected because “there are expectation of bumper harvest”.
Comrade Tedheke who commended the Buhari-led green revolution said, not until recently when they got their first support from the Ministry of Agriculture who subsided some of their prosecution costs, there have not been any sort of intervention for them.
“Everything you see here today; from the dam, the irrigation components, the production unit and all others are not driven by government but by Nigerians who believe in the diversification idea.
“As a country we should think of how to best utilize what we have in abundance, which is the natural and human resources we are endowed with”, said Tedekhe. He said the country is already making progress but the government must continue to “match its words with actions”.
“If Buhari wants to save this country, he should mobilize thousands of bulldozers and tractors to the farms across the entire geopolitical zones of the country. This will take away 30 per cent of the cost of production for farmers and it will as well help reduce the bureaucratic bottleneck in assessing loan facilities”, he added.