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Kudos for CBN over intervention to rescue poultry sector

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The poultry industry players have lauded the intervention of the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on the release of 50,000 metric tonnes of maize, to cushion the effect of the current challenges facing the industry.
  
They described the intervention as timely and commendable, as it will reinvigorate the ailing poultry industry that has been weakened by high cost of feed.  
  
Late January, the CBN announced that about 300,000 metric tonnes of maize would be ready for supply from strategic anchors under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), in a bid to modulate the price of the produce per metric tonne.

The intervention was to ensure that the price of maize drops, thereby bringing it to a level that is sustainably affordable in the market, while bailing out the industrial sectors from supply gap induced high maize price.
 

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The General Manager, Administration and Corporate Affairs, Amobyng Nigeria Limited, a major feed miller, Dr. Agboola Belgore, described the development as “most commendable, and we hope the intervention is sustained till we get market price of the commodity to a level that is sustainable for both farmers and end users.

“This price level in my opinion should not be above N130, 000 per metric tonne, unlike the current N195, 000 per metric tonne the good intentioned intervention. You will recall that prior to the news that CBN intends to intervene by releasing up to 300,000 metric tonnes into the market sometime late last year, maize price that would normally not exceed N90, 000 per metric tonne in previous years post-harvest, went as high as N200, 000 post-harvest with a trend that was poised to go higher.
  
“This high price is unprecedented and led to feed millers adjusting finished feed prices accordingly since maize account for about 70 per cent of feed production. In the period between October 2020 and February 2021 feed millers adjusted prices of feed upward almost weekly to keep up with prices of maize and soya.”

He noted that despite this incessant feed price increase, poultry farmers could not increase product prices due to storage constraint, a development that led to massive contraction of the poultry industry. “With the news of the CBN intervention, price of maize stopped climbing and by the time of actual release of the 50,000 metric tonnes, price crashed to around N180, 000 per metric tonne, providing a welcome relief to feed millers and by extension, poultry farmers.
 
“I am also aware the CBN is driving increased yield in dry season maize cultivation concurrently, significant harvest from this initiative will increase supply to the market before traditional harvest period thus helping with further price modulation so that the CBN doesn’t have to do direct intervention perpetually.”
 

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General Manager, Premier Feeds Limited, Austin Daylop, said the intervention by the CBN was apt, coming at the right time. “But it is like a drop in the ocean, saying the 50,000 metric tonnes released from the 300,000 volume of maize announced though actually brought the price down a bit for about two weeks, but it went back to the initial price of N190, 000 to N200, 000, but we appreciate the gesture, our prayer is that we really get more of the intervention.

“Secondly, there is information flying around that some maize merchants who have stock of maize in their warehouses are waiting for a time to sell at higher prices, we appeal to such people to release more of this maize so that the industry users can be able to get such maize because the price of feed today has doubled.
  
Daylop said the poultry industry alone consumes about 27 per cent of the agric value chain, emphasising the need for government to understand the importance of the poultry industry in Nigeria’s economy.    
 
To the Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Lagos Chapter, Godwin Egbede, the intervention is laudable, “it has been able to cut off the middlemen. In terms of pricing, the rate is still very high. He maintained that if the middlemen were not cut off, they would still buy from the released stock and resell at a higher price. 

“CBN can still help to further reduce the price because a metric tonne is N160, 000, excluding the cost of logistics to get it down here from the North.”
 

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