Poultry Farmers lament the scarcity of feed to enable them raise the required number is birds for consumers especially as the Christmas season approaches.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, the National President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria Ezekiel Ibrahim, warned that the poultry industry might be forced to shut down by January 2021 if urgent actions are not taken by the government to address the high cost of grains and other challenges facing the industry.
Mr Ibrahim said the reason for scarcity and the hike in cost is due to the insecurity in the country, climate change and activities of traders buying and hoarding of the grains.
More worrisome at the moment is the soybeans supply and demand situation in the country, which is scarce and near absent in the Nigerian markets.
Mr Ibrahim noted, the industry is worth over N10 trillion and engages over 20 million Nigerians directly and indirectly.
He said, “In view of the above negative impacts and disaster that will befall the Nigeria poultry industry if urgent actions are not taken immediately by the government, the industry might be forced to shut down completely by January 2021. The present atmosphere and scenario of things are very alarming and critical.”
“In the post-COVID-19 and the lockdown that followed, the poultry industry suffered devastating losses occasioned by the restriction of movement of goods and services, which include eggs, day-old chicks, poultry feeds, and other essential inputs for poultry production.
“Billions of naira were lost in sales of eggs and chicken resulting in the closure of many small and medium-sized poultry farms.
“With the attendant fallouts and the grains supply situation in the country, the prices of maize went up from N95,000 per tons to N165,000 per tonne in June 2020.
“Maize as at today 26th of November is selling between N145,000 – N160,000 per tonne as against the price of N85,000 per tonne this time last year.”
According to him, “The government supported the industry with the release of 5,000 metric tonnes of maize at subsidised prices expecting that the price of maize will fall or stabilise during the harvest season.
“Intelligence and field reports have also indicated that the soybeans in seeds and meals are being exported out of the country, thereby causing the present crisis being witnessed.
“Soybean is selling between N215,000-N250,000 per tonne as at today where available,” he said.
“The poultry industry feed cost is about 75 per cent of the cost of poultry production and this has risen by over 75 percent between March and November 2020.
“In March, the price of finished feed sold between N2,650 and N3,000 is now selling between N4,600 – N5,300 per 25kg bag.”
“Divestments in the poultry sector due to lack of investors’ confidence, devastating fall of fortunes in the entire value chains of the industry and the seeming crimes that will follow,” he said.
“Significant drop in the contribution of poultry to the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AGDP) of the national economy thereby negating the government drive for agricultural transformation.”