The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) says the Central Bank of Nigeria’s plan to place a ban on the importation of milk and other dairy products is not in the interest of its members.
Concise News understands that the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, had disclosed the apex bank’s plan at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting Tuesday in Abuja.
But MACBAN, in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, said, “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 involved, 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 infusion of capital into the 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.
“It is important that the spirit of partnership and transparent dialogue with which the NLTP was developed be maintained and allowed to thrive. A secret, coerced, backroom deals struck based on fear and threats including withdrawal of access to foreign exchange cannot be the model for solving a problem of this magnitude.
“That is at the heart of a growing security crisis and existential dimensions that require long-term strategic investment and execution framework by the very nature of livestock production characteristics. Therefore, 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.
“Furthermore, Transforming Nigeria’s livestock sub-sector from a basic, subsistence low technology, conflict-stricken status into a world-class, productive, safe and profitable industry devoid of conflicts requires the involvement of all stakeholders including the pastoralists and crop farmers.
“There is a pilot project in Kachia Grazing Reserve in Kaduna State-funded by business innovation facility (BIF-UK AID) where a small scale dairy value change was set up and all the community within and around are participating and benefiting which at long run will resolve crisis between farmers and herders, create jobs for youth and women.
“Any plan that excludes the pastoralists and crop farmers, or does not solve what their essential challenges fall short of our expectations and support,” part of the statement read.