The Poultry of Nigeria (PAN) has disclosed that the Nigerian government has taken delivery of 262,000 metric tonnes (MT) of imported maize to augment local production and bridge the deficit in supply.
PAN’s President, Ezekiel Ibrahim Mam, gave the confirmation on Tuesday in a statement.
AgroNigeria reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in September approved the emergency importation of maize into the country to bridge local scarcity.
The apex bank had issued the approval to Wacot Limited, Chi Farms Limited, Crown Flour Mills Limited and Premier Feeds Company Limited.
Announcing the import delivery, Mam commended the CBN for the directive which he said was the right step in the right direction.
The president noted that the import has helped the poultry industry to scale up production in no small measure.
“As a necessary evil, the CBN approved import licences to some members of our association so that the industry will 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 in November 2020,” the PAN chief said.
In his reaction, a former vice-chairman of PAN, Folorunso Ogunnaike, pointed out that the food crisis in Nigeria might have worsened, putting many farmers out of business, had the importation waiver not been granted.
Ogunnaike, however, urged the government to extend the waiver to others within the sector.
AgroNigeria reported in June that the Delta State Chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) called on the Federal Government to allow the importation of maize to supplement the current domestic supply deficit.
Delta State Chapter chairman of PAN, Chief Alfred Mrakpor, had lamented the high costs of maize and soybeans which he said were critical components of animal feeds.
According to him, local farmers have been unable to meet the demand for maize because of skyrocketing prices.
However, the Amana Farmers and Grain Suppliers Association of Nigeria (AFGSAN) in September opposed the move, saying it would undermine the local production of the commodity.
AFGSAN chairman, Alhaji Haruna-Ahmed Pambegua, described the approval as retrogressive, adding that it came at a time when the harvesting of local maize had commenced in some parts of the country.