FG Prohibits Foreigners From Buying Agricultural Produce Directly From Farmers

The federal executive council (FEC) has authorized a ban on foreigners and their representatives procuring agricultural produce at the farm gate.

This indicates that only licensed and properly registered local purchasing agents can now buy farm produce directly from farmers in Nigeria.

According to the federal government, the effort is to make sure that the farmers are no longer defrauded in the purchase of farm produce.

While speaking on the development, Niyi Adebayo, minister of industry, trade and investment, stated that as part of the FEC authorization, the attorney-general would draft a law that would be forwarded to the national assembly to support the application of the new policy.

“We will also use commodity associations, to which the farmers belong, to ensure effective implementation,” the minister said.

Addressing the state house correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the minister said he submitted two memos on behalf of his ministry.

According to Adebayo, one memo was the promotion of agribusiness in the country through right farm gate pricing and a ban on foreigners and their representatives from buying agricultural commodities at the farm gates.

He pronounced that the council approved the formation of an appropriate mechanism that would protect indigenous farmers in terms of achieving the right prices for their goods and commodities.

The minister also said the mechanism would also see to it that they have the appropriate incentives and the required encouragement to guarantee their continued participation in the farming business.

According to him, foreigners have been going to the farm gates to purchase produce from the farmers at low prices, therefore dampening the farmers from continuing with their trade.

Adebayo also said that he presented another memo to FEC for the approval of a trade policy action plan with the theme “Unleashing Nigeria’s Development Potentials through Trade and Investment”.

The minister said the action plan which was also approved by FEC was established to utilise trade as another means of generating revenue asides from oil.

“The whole idea is that because we’re not making as much money as we used to from the sale of oil, and because of reduction in the money that comes from that aspect of Nigeria’s revenue generation, we want to utilize trade as a means of generating revenue for the country,” Adebayo explained.

“So, the action plan aims to utilise the existing national trade policy to facilitate effective use of international trade and investment as tools for economic growth and poverty reduction in the country.

“So, we’ve got approval from Council today to engage with all the ministries, departments and agencies involved in trade and revenue generation, and also the organized private sector and civil society organisations to ensure a successful implementation of the trade policy action plan.

“One of the next steps that we will be taking now that we have this approval, is to inaugurate a committee which will look into the update of the existing trade policy, which was last updated in 2002.

“And also, we’ll be looking into coming up with an investment policy. And these two policies we believe should be ready before the end of this year”.