Opportunities for US Corn in Nigeria

US - Corn and sorghum producers have a new potential export market in Africa: Nigeria, according to US Grains Council.
calendar icon 7 November 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

On September 24, sub-Sahara Africa's most populous nation lifted its import ban on corn and sorghum, allowing the two products to enter the country at a 5 per cent tariff rate, according to a report released by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) last week.

US Grains Council (USGC) Director of the Mediterranean and Africa, Kurt Shultz, said the recent lifting of the ban creates numerous opportunities for US producers and exporters.

"The opening of this market to US corn and sorghum is a promising development," he said. "Corn is used extensively in the poultry sector and both corn and sorghum are used in the brewing industry in Nigeria."

Nigeria's poultry industry is rapidly growing due to the spread of fast-food chicken restaurants, which have developed as a result of urbanization and economic development. Poultry imports, however, remain banned.

This creates a strong demand for domestic chicken meat; a demand the industry is having difficulty meeting.

According to USDA representative in Nigeria, the poultry industry uses approximately 900,000 tons (35.4 million bushels) of corn annually.

According to the FAS report, domestic poultry operators have expressed interest in importing US supplies and as corn prices increased this year, the Poultry Association of Nigeria lobbied the government to overturn the import ban.

"There is great potential in this market for US corn producers. Even though Nigeria's corn producing area is expanding, production costs remain high as nearly all corn is planted and harvested by hand," Mr Shultz said.

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