Farmers heave sigh of relief as prolonged egg glut ends

Farmers in the poultry subsector in Nigeria are in a joyful mood as the prolonged egg glut is declining helping them to raise higher sales unlike before, BusinessDay finding shows.

Usually, egg glut, which is seasonal, occurs when demand for eggs is less than its supply, and this takes place between February and May each year, which farmers attribute to rising temperature at that time of the year, and a corresponding fall in the consumption of tea, bread and fried egg.

But egg famers say that this year’s egg glut took longer than expected as big players, who before now produce only chicks and feed in the poultry industry, decided to take part in the production of eggs and sold them directly to the market at a price within the range of N600- N650 unlike the usual price range of N800-N850, sold by the medium and small scale farmers.

“Actually, the glut is not supposed to be this bad initially, and it started quite early. What majorly contributed to it was that some of the big poultry producers decided to start producing and raising layers for eggs production and going directing to the market to sell at a cheaper rate. Unlike before when they sell directly to the wholesalers,” Oluwafunmilola Otolorin, managing partner, Jehozadak Farms, says.

“They have the capacity to produce close to 20,000 birds’ daily and with that capacity they can produce close to a millions eggs daily,” Otolorin further states.

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During this year’s glut, farmers still produced in large quantities but sold at a lesser price. For example, farmers produce 10 to 15 crates of eggs daily, but for them to sell fast because eggs are perishable, they sold them between N500 and N600, unlike the usual price of N800 to N850.

“I have a poultry farm. During the glut, I did not make proper sales of egg but recently two-three weeks ago, I discover that things have move up. I am now making sales unlike before,” an anonymous egg farmer says.

But Mayowa Oyinkanola, a director at QMF Farms Limited, disagrees with the notion that the big players went into egg production as they have been in the production before the glut started.

“What happened was that because of the issues of kidnapping and banditry in the North East, which worsened earlier this year, most of them transported the eggs to other countries like Benin Republic, Cameroon, etc., they had no choice but to internalise, that is selling inside Nigeria unlike outside and that worsened the glut in the market,” Oyinkanola says

According to some of the farmers, the reduction of the egg glut is attributed to the availability of yam in the market, school resumption, because most children take eggs as breakfast and lunch to school on daily basis, forcing the big companies to stop the production of eggs.

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