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FG Reaffirms Ban on Direct Purchase of Agricultural Produce at Farm Gate by Foreign Merchants

The Federal Government has reaffirmed that direct purchase of agricultural produce from local farmers by foreign merchants remained banned. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, reaffirmed this while responding to questions at the 4th Women Enterprise Alliance Conference (WENA) in Abuja on Monday. Abubakar explained that the Federal Executive Council approved the ban because most foreign merchants in Nigeria who purchased agro-commodities at farm-gate prices were taking advantage of local farmers by paying less for such produce. His words: “On allowing foreigners to buy 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. “So, no foreign merchant will come and buy at farm-gate prices. That memo has been approved. And why is this so, when they (foreign merchants) buy at farm-gate price, the farmer gets much less than what ordinarily he or she should receive.” Also, speaking on the insecurity issue in the country, the minister said the government would not allow the situation to halt food production in Nigeria. “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. “And as a result of that our farmers are given some kind of protection using the agro-rangers, but honestly the root of the matter is to collaborate and find ways to solve the problem, not just temporarily. “As you can see, food is being produced across the country and we will make sure it does not stop,” Abubakar pledged.

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