November 27, 2020

Maize, Soya beans scarcity: Feed millers warn of impending food crisis

Maize, Soya beans scarcity: Feed millers warn of impending food crisis

By Jimoh Babatunde

Feed millers, under the aegis of Feed Industry Practitioner Association of Nigeria, FIPAN, warned of the impending food crisis in the livestock sub-sector of the agricultural sector due to spike in the cost of maize and soya beans, which are important for the feed preparation of livestock animals.

They, therefore, called for the quick intervention of the government on the importation of maize for livestock feeds at the official foreign exchange rate.

Speaking in Lagos during the week, the National Chairman of FIPAN, Mr Raymond Isindiaso, warned that the trend, if allowed to continue, a fallout of the food crisis is jeopardising the school feeding programme of the Federal Government, which is highly dependent on eggs.

He said that investors in the livestock value chain had witnessed a great degradation in the success they had recorded over the years.

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Isindiaso attributed the grain supply challenges to flooding in most key grain-producing belts of the country and insecurity arising from banditry and kidnapping of farmers.

He noted that there had been a disconnect between the grains producing regions and the grains utilising regions of the country.

Isindiaso alleged that some group of people had started sabotaging grain supply in the industry by exporting soybean and maize in large quantities to earn foreign currency.

He said, “We alerting the nation and appropriate organs that our industry ship is sinking and may sink in few days to come if nothing is done to mitigate against the destruction of multi-trillion investments, labour (employment), various linked businesses to livestock value chain like banks and loans, infrastructure rented and owned, students feeding programme.

“The multiplier effect of these on our economy could be greater than the recession we are in now, as it will involve both foods, life and finance.”

To stem the impending food crisis, Isindiaso said FIPAN is demanding immediate stoppage of exportation of Soyabean seed or meal; further intervention on the importation of maize for livestock feeds only at official foreign exchange rate; feed policy that guarantees the livestock feeds and sub-sector requirements and more engagement to lower cost of feeds ingredients through tax relief, duty waiver, forex provisions.