Poultry farmers in Nigeria have commended the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for allowing the recent importation of 262,000 metric tons of maize.
The Poultry Association of Nigeria, (PAN) and other stakeholders in the industry stated that this move has shown government’s understanding of the current situation in the sector, noting that Nigeria would have experienced severe shortage of poultry products without the importation.
The President of PAN, Ibrahim Ezekiel Mam, in a statement, said that the poultry industry totally supports the federal government efforts to bridge the supply gap to the poultry industry through imports, considering the rising demand on the human consumption side.
He explained that, “as a necessary evil, the CBN approved import licenses to some members of our association so that the industry would not be allowed to close down. The gesture has greatly helped the poultry industry to continue with production before the harvest season, which will be around November 2020. As the leader of the poultry association, I will not support the campaign to totally eliminate import waivers which are normally granted as the last resort and out of necessity. It is not the issue of choice but an absolute necessity to save an industry.”
In a similar vein, the Ogun State Chairperson of PAN, Mrs Blessing Alawode, said that the recent importation of 262,000 metric tons of maize would only help to support the shortage in local production for just a short while, explaining that the industry will still be a major buyer of local maize in the upcoming harvest season
In her words, “the 262,000 metric tons of maize is to help us survive for a short while. It is not even enough for a month. This is just to alleviate the crisis. I don’t think this will affect us negatively. Many farms have closed down because of the crisis we have faced recently.”
Indeed, the ravaging effects of flood and farmer-herder crisis in several parts of the country have meant food supply for human consumption has taken precedence over supplies for animal feed in most parts of the country.
A former Vice Chairman of the association, Chief Folorunso Ogunnaike, also spoke on the major crisis averted as a result of the importation, stating that, but for the maize importation, many farmers would have been out of business.
He urged local farmers not to entertain any fear and called on the government to extend the gesture to others in the sector.