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Amid recession, poultry farmers say one chicken may go for N10,000 at Yuletide

Livestock farmers under the auspices of the Poultry Association of Nigerian (PAN) have requested the Federal Government to save the Nigerian poultry industry from imminent collapse which the industry now faces as a result of an unabated rising in the prices of birds feeds and concentrates used to feed chickens.

The poultry farmers explained that the feed inputs such as soya beans are going out of reach of an average poultry farmer with the price of the commodity now increased from N115,000 that was sold per ton in August to N215,000 in November 2020, representing an increase of 86.95% within a four-month period.

Speaking through a Press Release signed and made available to some journalists in Abeokuta on Monday, Blessing Alawode, Chairperson of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Ogun State Chapter, noted that with the unabated increase in feed prices especially, the prices of soya beans and soya bean meal, the prices of eggs and chickens might go out of reach of many Nigerians, selling between N5,000 and N10,000 during Christmas depending on the size.

Referring to the Press Release tagged, “Poultry Industry, A Trillion Naira Investment In Nigeria Faces Imminent Collapse As Prices of Maize, Soya Beans, Soya Bean Meal and Finished Feeds Rise Unabatedly.”

Alawode appealed to Federal Government to come to their rescue and save the poultry industry from collapse since the business is no longer profitable due to the increased prices of feeds and concentrates, which in return, skyrocketed the prices of finished products such as chickens and eggs.

While demanding the quick intervention from the Federal Government and its agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs Service, among others, Alawode alleged that large scale corruption within the feed millers and merchants, who cause artificial scarcity by hoarding the produce and illegally exporting it to neighbouring countries, put unnecessary pressures on the industry.

She said, “In August 2020, maize and soya were sold at N170,000 and N115,000 per ton respectively, with the market price of commercial feeds at an average price of N3,300 per bag of 25kg. While the price of maize remained at N170,000 per ton in September, soya jumped to N125,000 with commercial feeds at N3,600.

“In October, while the farmers were glad of a small decrease in maize to N152,000:00 per ton, soya rose again to N150,000:00 per ton and commercial Feeds then was N3,959. As of today, maize is N145,000, soya is N215,000, this represents 86.95% increase in four months and commercial feeds at N4,400, while the market is already resisting a tray of the egg for above N1,000.

“Intelligence gatherings on issues around price increases in maize and soya reveals hoarding of the maize and soya by merchants, thereby causing artificial scarcity. Export of processed soya bean meal by some millers and poor harvest due to low-quality seeds caused by climate change and insecurity in the grains producing zones, among other factors

“We, therefore, call on Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Agriculture for a quick intervention to work around an immediate ban on the export of processed soya beans and soya bean meal until local consumption is sustained and guaranteed.

“Approval of importation of animal feed grade grains must be given to cushion the effect of the feed crisis. The CBN should, through its Development Finance Department, facilitate a working relationship between the producers (grain farmers) and the consumers (poultry farmers) to check the profiteering tendencies of the merchants.

“There should be intensified efforts on dry season farming to improve production capacity while not neglecting the quality of the seed to ensure high yield to reduce the high cost of production per hectare.

“We also use this medium to call on the commercial feeds millers to show some level of consideration in their pricing as the survival of the poultry farmers is directly related to the continued existence of the millers.”

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