By Adelola Amihere
Except urgent steps are taken to salvage the current situation there are indications that the Nigerian Poultry industry may shut down production by January 2021., the President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Ezekiel Ibrahim has warned.
The dire situation is connected with the high increase in the prices of maize and Soya Beans which are the main composition of feed used for poultry production.
Currently a ton of maize that sells thatt was selling for N85,000 by this time lame last year now sells between N145000-N160, 000 per ton, while the price of soybeans has risen from N130,000 to between N215000-250,000. This has made the price of feed that was selling for about N3000 in March to now sell for about N4600-N5300.
At a press conference by PAN on Thursday tagged “Crisis and the Survival of the Nigeria Poultry Industry:A Critical Moment” Ibrahim said the reason being adduced for the scacity and high cost of soybeans and maize in the country is the insecurity situation, climate change and activities by traders who buy and hoard the grain.
According to him, small and medium sized poultry farms who are the major players in the industry are shutting down thereby threatening about 5-10million jobs at the peri urban and rural areas
To saivage the situation, the association called on the government to immediately halt the export of Soybeans and Soymeals as well as protect the local food systems and security adding that there is need to allow immediate importation of soybeans and maize into the country as a stop gap measure to mitigate the impending doom in the country.
They also called on the government to partially open the border open for markets in agriculture and critical food products in transparent and predictable manner.
Also speaking, the General Manager Premier Feed Mills Austin Dalyop lamented that the dire situation in the industry said the quality of Nigerian soybeans, being a non-GMO product has placed the grain on high demand in the international markets, saying the scarcity of the feed mill component had made it impossible for smallholder poultry Farmers to who are the bedrock of the industry to maintain their presence.
He said “smallholder farmers are fallen apart due to the high cost of the feed mill, as they now have to pass the high cost to the end product to which not so many Nigerians can afford to buy create of egg at N1200 and chicken at the cost of N3000-4000, after Christmas most of the farmers may not be able to keep up as they may have to srll off their chicks”.