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Miyetti Allah condemns restriction on FOREX for milk importation

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The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), in a statement, condemned the CBN’s planned policy restricting allocation of foreign exchange (FOREX) for milk importation into Nigeria.

This planned policy was made known at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, on Tuesday 23rd July 2019.

Although a desired long-term outcome where local production substitutes importation, implementation of such a policy requires a robust strategy that addresses underlying issues.

The group noted that while the NLTP is an integrated plan that holistically solves the historic challenges that has deprived the pastoralists from producing high quantity and quality beef and dairy products, ensuring that their goods do not end up being sold at sub-standard prices, partnership with domestic and foreign value chain actors is critical.

The MACBAN National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, in the statement said that:

“The recent discussions between the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Development Finance Department and dairy processors is a non-starter.

“The challenge is not solved by lending money at 9% and requiring dairy companies to go to Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, Kano or Oyoto locate and develop at least 10,000 hectares of land within a grazing reserve commencing on or before September 2019.

“We believe such approach does not speak to the aspirations of our members because without the Pastoralist crop farmers, processors, bankers, ranchers, technical workers, extension service providers, geneticists, and other stakeholders being involve, the likely hood of failure will be very high.

“What is also most alarming with the CBN proposal is the invitation given to the dairy processors to come up with their own plan on how they will develop their dairy farms of at least 10,000 Ha in the grazing reserves proposed to them by CBN with cheap CBN loans at 9% interest.

“This move is disastrous on two counts: one, it disregards completely FGN approved NLTP that clearly outlines the necessary steps needed to be taken to transform the livestock subsector over 10 years in line with the desires and aspirations of all consulted stakeholders.

“Secondly, the need for FGN regulations and incentives for the roles of all partners in the transformation processes to achieve the goals of peaceful coexistence between crop farmers and pastoralists as well as enhancement of the pastoral productivity through organic modernization of the pastoral production base with capacity to retain their cultural livestock linkage in modernity and innovation for generations to come.

“In view of this, we are advising the CBN to retrace its steps and take a productive role that does not undo the work done to date.

“As much as the fusion into livestock sub sector is deeply appreciated and welcome, it must occur in the right strategic, Stakeholder and cluster development context as provided in the NLTP framework.

Therefore, the CBN should in all sincerity come to the table and join the all-inclusive reformist efforts underway under the NLTP rather than reinvent the wheel once again.

The Nation

Mariam Olaitan is a news writer who gathers and disseminates current happenings around the world.

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