The domestic wine industry in Nigeria may not grow if the unregulated importation of wine is not stopped. According to Bidemi Ojeleye, a researcher, the low impact of local wines in the market is attributed to unfettered importation of foreign brands.
Ojeleye, who is a director of Bee Research and Development Institute, said that unregulated wine importation would continue to make local brewers irrelevant. He explained that there was need to pursue a well-defined policy of ban on importation of wine to boost local production.
He also said local distillers of wines were groaning under harsh business environment, and “the Federal Government needs a purposeful policy that will encourage farmers to grow crops that will facilitate wine production”.
“Key infrastructure such as good roads linking farms to factories and adequate agro-processing plants will inject the necessary inducement for local wine production too,” he said.
The government could also facilitate partnership between local wine producers and their foreign counterparts in the area of research and development, he said, noting that “such partnership will enrich our local wine brands and expose us to raw materials and equipment that are fallowing as a result of our lack of knowledge of their usefulness.”
By Pita Ochai