Wednesday, February 24, 2016 5:39 pm
By Femi Anjorin
The Nigeria Agro Business Network has cried to the Federal Government to save the industry from unnecessary imported processed grains.
The industry drew the attention of the government to critical areas it believes require urgent intervention and proactive policies. In an advertisement published in a national newspaper and signed by the Mr Anthony O. Biachi, who is the National Coordinator of the group, it says that the country is daily loosing “millions of employment opportunities due to the uninhibited importation of Malted Barley.”
It argued that the Malted Sorghum planted in Nigeria is not only richer substitute but it is also in abundance. The farmers are yearly losing their money due to the unrestrained importation of Malted Barley.
The group therefore urged the government to urgently “revamp the fortunes of grains farmers generally and Sorghum farmers in particular. Your valued intervention will also ensure that the billions of Naira invested in Malting Plants in Nigeria will not be put to waste and thousands of employment opportunities will not be lost,” the group said.
The group listed some disadvantages of Malted Barley to include among others:
The scarce foreign exchange being used to import needless Malted Barley to the benefit of some multinational companies while killing our agro industries, workers and Sorghum farmers;
Malted Barley is imported at 5%import duty and curiously enjoys exemption from payment of levy and VAT;
Grain-based extracts /syrups, produced by enzymatic conversion in Nigeria, rich in amino acid and dietary fibres, are superior in quality to imported extract/syrups.
The group rounded up its appeal by advising the government that it is dangerous to delay action to protect the interest of Nigerians. They therefore counselled the government to act now.