Nigeria: CBN Maize Import Ban Ill-Timed, May Cripple Poultry Sector – Don

Nigeria: CBN Maize Import Ban Ill-Timed, May Cripple Poultry Sector – Don

The Programme Director of the Lagos Business School Agribusiness programme, Dr Ikechukwu Kelikume, has said that the recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria banning the importation of maize could reverse the gains of the apex bank’s other interventions in agriculture.

He stated that the policy could further compound the woes of poultry farmers given that maize, which constitutes over 50 per cent of poultry feed content is currently very scarce, and where available, is very expensive, even as the price keeps rising.

While admitting that the CBN’s earlier policies of Agric, Small and Medium enterprise scheme and the Anchor Borrowers Programme have been largely successful, he opined that the current decision to discontinue the processing of Form M for the importation of Maize could reverse the gains of those interventions.

On the consequences of the CBN directive, Kelikume said: “The situation spells doom for poultry farmers across the country, who are beginning to cut down on production because of the high cost of feed and imported medication for the birds.

“A negative spillover effect of the high cost of feed is the scarcity of eggs and a consequent rise in its price across the country. The implications of the current challenges in the maize value chain are that the gains of employing more people in the agricultural sector will be rolled back in the coming months.”

He added: “As it stands, there is no alternative for the poultry farmers, as the poultry sector will face a catastrophic shortage of feeds, a critical input in their business. This situation will render tens of thousands of them unemployed and undo all the gains made by this sector in the past five years. Thousands of poultry businesses will shut down in the face of high operating costs, leaving business owners and their employees without a means of livelihood.”