August 10, 2020Agric DigestNewsTrending
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned maize importation, raising prospects of potential shortages in the market. There is concern that local farmers may not meet market demand as poultry farmers and other food producers bemoan the high cost of the produce.
Why CBN banned maize import.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in recent times has directed dealers to discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn import. This directive was contained in a notice addressed to the dealers and signed by the Director of Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji. The CBN gave four reasons for its action. These include: increasing local production, stimulating a rapid economic recovery, safeguarding rural livelihoods, and increasing jobs. In line with this development, the dealers were told to return the Forms M they had registered for importation by July 15.
The food industry is bracing for major adjustments as concerns over the impact of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) ban on maize import grow. While the extent of the ban’s impact remains uncertain, production disruption is a major area of focus. Some stakeholders fear that the CBN’s ban of maize import when local farmers have not produced enough to power the food industry will lead to the high cost of the crop, which is a major raw material in livestock and pharmaceutical industries. Higher projected orders from the food processing industry have sent maize prices soaring with supplies plummeting.
Taking, for example, the poultry sector is one of the major consumers of maize as it is a key ingredient in poultry feed and accounts for 70 percent of production cost. Because of the ban, a reporter noted that a ton of maize, which sold for N80,000 had climbed to N180,000. Maize prices have soared to an all-time high in the market because of weak supply. Delta State Chairman of PAN, Chief Alfred Mrakpor in a statement noted that It is heartbreaking that small farmers are falling out of business and by extension increasing the poverty level of the citizenry.
Sterling Bank Initiatives to the banned Maize importation to the country
To solve this pressing problem, Sterling bank has developed varying of specialized products to meet demand and changes in the various value chain of the sector such as the Maize aggregation scheme dedicated to giving low-cost funds to users of maize such as feed millers, processors, farmer, and poultry farmer, etc.
Consequently, to the ban of maize importation to Nigeria, the bank has recently taken bold steps to finance key players in the sector involved in maize production. It recently financed a commercially based agribusiness company called Value seed limited based in Kaduna state, with the tune of N525,444,000.00 facilities for the cultivation of 4,016 hectares of maize and 1,900 hectares of rice by a total of 5,916 farmers under the CBN Prime Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and the Agriculture for food and job planning.
Among other recent activities of the bank is financing a crowdfunding project owned by Thrive Agric. Limited. The project was noted to financing about 25,0000 with the tune of about N2.56 billion naira under the Agriculture for food and job planning. The goal was to empower as many farmers as possible and to cub the over-dependency on the importation of agro commodities such as in the case of Maize.
The bank is aligned with the government strategy of diversification and to grow the agricultural sector and has dedicated about 10% of its total loan book to the sector. In this view, Sterling bank is committed to adding value to businesses in the agricultural sector to further grow the economy.