THE Secretary, Young Farmers Group, Mr Bayo Adepoju, on Wednesday decried the harassment and arrest of its members over fertiliser already in the country before it was banned on Dec. 17, 2018.
Adepoju made known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, this action can result in food scarcity during 2019 harvest season.
“If the present harassment of farmers and agro chemical companies continue, there will be acute food scarcity in the country.
”This is as a result of a misinterpretation of a directive prohibiting the importation of NPK 15-15-15, a brand of fertiliser.
”Since the directive, farmers and agro business players who still had the products in stock are being harassed and arrested.
”The products are also being impounded from farmers and agro business players who still use the fertiliser for their farming and other agricultural purposes.
”Farmers and agro business players believe the new directive was only on importation and not on usage, buying and selling of the fertiliser from those who have it in the country to genuine farmers is an offence,” he said.
Adepoju said that many agro allied companies had the product in their warehouses for use in their various farms and also for sale to genuine farmers who needed them for their farm inputs.
He said that its members’ trucks containing the product had been impounded even at the presentation of valid documents showing that the products were being moved from the warehouse to the farm or company where they were needed.
Adepoju said that the directive only prohibited the importation as from December 2018.
“It didn’t say companies or organisations that have the product should not use or sell to genuine farmers who will need it.
According to him, the fertiliser is very useful to farmers in their day to day activities.
He said that it was one of the most sought-after agro input needed for rapid growth of most agricultural cash crops, adding that it also improved soil nutrient.
Adepoju said that the directive on the ban of NPK 15 15 15 fertiliser took effect on Dec. 2018 and those stocks still in the warehouses were legally acquired to be used for agro business.
“This is necessary to avoid food scarcity because of the reduction in farm produce which the continuation of this hostility might cause,’’ he said. (NAN)