Border closure: Farmers now selling their products, smiling to banks ― FEPSAN

The Chairman Fertilizer Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Thomas Etuh has said the recent border closure by the Federal Government had enabled local farmers to sell their products because of their off-takers ready to buy off all that the farmers have harvested.

Etuh while commending the Federal Government for taking such action, said before now, farmers were discouraged from going to the farm because when they produce, they can sell, or even if they sell, they go home with very ridiculous money realized from their sales.

“The closure of the border for us as farmers we are very happy because we are selling our produce and a lot of people are going back to the farm because they know that there is an offtake FEPSAN chairman said.

“There is a glut in rice, there is a glut in Maize, there is a glut in production of sorghum, now the market is open. What we are saying is not about the closure of the border, we are telling our neighbours to bring in their products through a proper channel, pay the levies paid on duty, don’t smuggle it in.

“We have seen a lot of encouragement from the Federal Government, I also trade in commodities, for 2 years now we have been sitting in Maize which is not more than N6000 per bag, but with the closure of the border, we have no excuse, Maize has gone up.

“For rice paddy, the same thing, nobody was buying the local rice, but today, those of you that are millers and those of you that sell rice paddy, you have a lot of smiles as you go to the bank”, FEPSAN chairman said.

Speaking on efforts to ensure that the prices of commodities are affordable for Nigerians to purchase, the FEPSAN Chairman said the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had reduced the cost of borrowing from about 25 per cent to as low as 5 per cent.

“The Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria are doing a lot by reducing the cost of borrowing, instead of borrowing at the commercial rate of 20 per cent to 25 per cent, you are getting between 5 per cent and 9 per cent, so that, so that is the incentive that is bringing the prices of commodities down and increasing productivity for farmers.

“So, this is the kind of support that we are getting from the Federal Government. Am an advocate for the border to be closed for another 20 years and Nigeria will face it, China closed its border for 40 years, there was no import, and there was no export until they got it right”, the FEPSAN chairman said.

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Also, FEPSAN has engaged over 60 stakeholders in the agricultural sector at a workshop in Abuja to discuss the potential of adding Area Yield Index Insurance as part of their offering to farmers.

The potential partnership, which would bundle insurance with up to 14 million bags of fertilizer, could see as many as 3.9 million farmers benefiting from climate insurance in 2020 and up to 19 million by 2025.

Pula’s proposed Area Yield Index Insurance solutions, which would compensate farmers in the event of climate or other catastrophes, be an important intervention that helps farmers manage risks and build sustainable farming enterprises that can withstand shocks.

Pula Advisors is a specialist advisory firm offering comprehensive risk analysis and assessments, quantifying risks and developing mitigation and transfer options such as index-based insurance for our clients.

FEPSAN Chairman, Etuh, says Area Yield Index Insurance can be a lever for helping farmers cope with weather and other peculiar risks while scaling adoption of fertilizers among small farmers.

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