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Maize importation ban: Maize farmer decry high cost of inputs

A poultry farmer through his twitter handle @BashorunGa_ has on Tuesday said the high cost of poultry major input like maize has increased as federal government of Nigeria announced the ban on maize importation recently.
He lamented the high rate of vaccine importation from other countries as Nigeria has not had any vaccine breakthrough since creation of its research centers.
“We still imports 90% of the micro and macro nutrients, drugs and vaccines. We relied on China and Europe for all critical inputs in the sector. The NVRI Vom, Jos has no input, no major vaccine breakthrough since inception.No data to help farmers except the diagnostic labs.”
“We can not continue to import every single input in the sector and belief this will get better. Why should we import poultry drugs, vaccines and micro nutrients as a nation?”
“The lack of local content in the poultry sector is costing us much. This is where the major players hides”. He laments.
He expressed dissatisfaction over current happening in the poultry sector as the future may not be guaranteed for the next generation farmers.
“Poultry investment is highly capital intensive, when it fails it could lead to HBP or death. Many investors have vowed not to come back and it’s painful.
“I usually don’t complain about happenings in the poultry world because I have developed a thick  skin to happenings like this over 10 years of practices. But what about the prospective investors and the newbies? I hate it when farms are closing down or making zero profit.” He reiterated.
He further pointed out that poultry in Nigeria is a multi-billion Naira sector and the ban on the importation of poultry product by the previous administration and the implementation by the present has allowed the sector to grow quickly but unfortunately, nobody is regulating it.
“The recent Maize scarcity can only be blamed on the government. Do we even have a data to know how many metric tons of Maize the Nigeria livestock farmers consume per annum.
“Where is our strategic grain reserve? What is the government effort to mechanize farming? Our seed quality?” He enquired.
He grieved that the adverse effect of the ban will impacts Nigerian farmers negatively due to lack of incentive, regulation, subsidy and research development for the farmers as there would be no way forward for private sectors if there’s no policy direction from the government
He said: “Nigerian farmers, mostly poultry farmers are left naked in the cold by the government. No incentives, no subsidy, no regulations, no research and development, no insurance policy and plans. Don’t tell me what the private sector should do when the government failed with templates.”
He however said, government need to do more by investing in local content development plan for the sector as they need to look inward.
“I used to use the NVRI Lasota(ND) and Gomboro (IB) vaccines years back because I belive its tropicalized.”
“But the vaccine will sometimes disappear from the vet shelf. Am not even sure they are producing anymore. We need local innovations to reduce our production cost.”
“It’s only by so doing the cost of producing eggs and broiler meat will be reduced.
“Things can not continue to recycle like this yearly and we keep pretending nothing is happening. Right now, farmers now relied on Maize from Niger, Benin, Togo and Cameroon.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic is also not helping matters. Majority of d Maize farmers are hindered, input prices on flight, massive scarcity of fertilizers.
“2021 looks gloomy for poultry farmers.Am not a prophet of doom but all indications pointed South.We need to be prepared”. He said.
Early July 2020, Federal Government through Central Bank of Nigeria announced the ban on the importation of maize to Nigeria in a statement that read in part thus:
“As part of efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods, and increase jobs which were lost as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Authorised Dealers are hereby directed to discontinue the processing of Forms M for the importation of Maize/Corn with immediate effect.

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