A senior academic at the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Rivers State University and the University of the State of the African Diaspora (USOAD), Dr Ikechi Agbugba has said maize farmers in Nigeria should be given more incentives to encourage them to produce more.
According to him, the development will make the commodity available in abundance in the country.
His submission comes after the recent call by the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) for the Federal Government to ban the exportation of maize to other countries.
In an exclusive interview with AgroNigeria, on the economic implication of banning the exportation of maize, Agbugba said to make the commodity available for poultry feed millers in the country, maize farmers should be given more incentives.
According to him, there are tendencies that the ban of maize exportation could lead to stability in the price of maize, noting that when a country keeps exporting raw materials, it is sending part of the value chain away.
However, the economist said he would not rule out the fact that the implication of the ban could be catastrophic within the maize value chain in Nigeria.
He said, “For instance, the logistics and infrastructure to retrofit will be quite expensive.
Therefore, I would rather propose that about 30% of the total Nigerian maize production be targeted for domestic markets across the whole maize value chain for either human consumption, or for livestock feeds, among other derivatives.
“When you process maize locally for feed, you will have some byproducts at the end which will be useful to make other products.
With this, a lot of jobs could be created.
“Can I say that this call for a ban on exportation of Maize is somewhat a good idea and comes from the inability of domestic producers to meet local demand? The intention of this embargo or halt in its supply is to increase and enhance farmers’ capacity in local maize production.
Furthermore, Agbugba underscored that maize producers and marketers would wish to sell their product at a higher price If the incentive for exporting maize is higher than the domestic sale of it in Nigeria.
He, therefore, called on the government to urgently consult maize farmers in the country to see the value of not exporting their products to other countries.
Maize Farmers should be Incentivised to Produce More – Agbugba