Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agricultural output, which led to the shortfall of maize and other feeds; Premier feeds, Crown Flour, Chi Farms, and Mills Wacot have altogether imported a total of 262,000 metric tons of maize to augment local production.
Confirming the latest development is a statement issued by The Poultry Association of Nigeria, made available to Punch, which confirmed that Nigeria has taken delivery of 262,000 metric tonnes of maize imported into the country to augment local production. The association had earlier agonized over the shortfall of maize and other feeds.
Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that the recent ban on foreign exchange for food and fertilizer importers would not affect the 4 companies approved to import 262,000 metric tons of maize into Nigeria from August to October. The approved companies are using their own forex sources, as the CBN will not be providing forex for the imports.
Why this matters
The timely action is a move aimed at bridging the supply gap earlier identified. It alleviates the inherent food crisis, even though it is a temporary solution.
This action saved the economy and helped to keep farmers in business. Corroborating this point is a statement by PAN President, Ezekiel Ibrahim; “As a necessary evil, the CBN approved import licenses 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 November 2020.”
What they are saying
Justifying the latest move, the Ogun State Chairperson of PAN, Blessing Alawode, said the quality of maize imported was not enough to meet the requirement of the poultry industry for one month. She stated; “The 262,000 metric tonnes of maize is to help us survive for a while. It is not even enough for a month. This is just to alleviate the crisis. Many farms have closed down because of the crisis we have faced recently.”