Speculators in agricultural commodities, especially middle men in the rice market, who are hoping to cash in on widespread flooding in some parts of the country to jerk up prices, will get their fingers burned, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned.
The Director, Development Finance Department, at the apex bank, Mr. Philip Yila Yusuf, stated this yesterday at the CBN-sponsored 2020 virtual seminar for Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN).
He stated that with harvesting underway, the price of rice was already falling in the rural areas, adding that Nigerians in urban areas would soon start to buy the commodity at reduced prices.
The Kebbi State Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mohammed Sahabi, was recently reported by newsmen as saying that the recent flooding in the state has destroyed over 25per cent of Nigeria’s expected 8 million tons of rice harvests this year.
But, according to Yusuf, although there has been severe flooding this year, the impact on agricultural production in the country has been deliberately exaggerated in some quarters.
He said: “Middle men in the rice markets are going to get their fingers burned. I can tell you that harvesting has started and it is good. Prices have started coming down in the rural areas.”
Responding to a question on preparations that the Department is making for dry season farming, Yusuf said that the CBN was targeting the cultivation of a minimum of one million hectares in the current dry season farming.
According to him: “The only way we can guarantee food security in this country is to embark on large scale dry season farming.”
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