Central Bank of Nigeria to release 300,000 metric tons of maize to control market price

NIGERIA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced it will release about 300,000 metric tons of maize into the Nigerian market from strategic anchors under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

The release, expected in February 2021, according to the National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) Alhaji Bello Abubakar, should drive down the cost of maize from the current N155,000 per metric ton and consequently impact feed price.

With the release, it is expected that the price of maize in the Nigerian market will drop significantly, thereby increasing demand for the produce and ultimately enhancing the gains of maize farmers.

Prior to the CBN and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) collaboration, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of 30,000 tons of maize from the National Strategic Grain Reserve to support the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) at a subsidised rate.

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Alhaji Abubakar attributed the current shortfall in the quantity of maize available in the market to include insecurity around the major maize producing belt of Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and part of Kano state. He also said there were middlemen and others who hoard the grain.

In a bid to boost production, over 200,000 farmers were given credit to produce over 25 million metric ton of maize in the 2020/2021 planting season by CBN.

Kenya’s cereal board increases maize prices

Meanwhile in Kenya, the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has set the stage for competition for maize in the market with a price review that has pushed the cost of a 90-kilogramme bag from Ksh2,500 (US$22) to Ksh2,700 (US$24).

NCPB made the reviews after it failed to get more supplies from farmers, three weeks after it opened its depots, receiving slightly over 2,000 bags of maize.

“NCPB has reviewed its maize purchases prices upwards for a 90-kilo bag to Ksh2,700 (US$ from Ksh2,500 (US$22). We urge all farmers with maize that meet the required quality standards to deliver their grain.”

National Cereals and Produce Board

Farmers shunned the board to sell their maize to traders and millers who have been offering slightly higher prices than what NCPB is paying, reports Business Daily.

Millers were paying up to Ksh2,600 (US$23) for a 90-kilo bag of maize, which made it difficult for NCPB to attract stocks from farmers.

“NCPB has reviewed its maize purchases prices upwards for a 90-kilo bag to Ksh2,700 (US$ from Ksh2,500 (US$22). We urge all farmers with maize that meet the required quality standards to deliver their grain,” said the agency.

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The board opened its doors last year in December for supplies, after failing to purchase maize in 2019 from growers.

However, unlike other years, the grain handler is buying maize for its commercial purposes and not for Strategic Grain Reserve (SFR) as has been the case before, which needs to have a minimum of three million bags for emergence use in times of famine.

The board is buying maize under its commercial wing for trading alongside other grains such as rice and beans.

The maize is normally released to millers at lower cost in order to check the rising cost of maize flour to protect consumers.

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