Poultry industry at risk of collapse over lockdown, farmers lament
The Poultry Association of Nigeria is lamenting what it describes as negative impacts of various actions by some state governments, which are adversely affecting the poultry industry and ability of producers to meet the dietary requirements of Nigerians.
A statement by Ezekiel Ibrahim, PAN president, noted that restrictions of inter-state movement of vehicles by various state governments would worsen the food and protein supply required for healthy living by Nigerians especially as food is considered an essential item for human health and survival.
While the poultry body says it is in support of the Federal Government on “all measures taken so far to improve the health and economy of the nation and to curtail the further spread of the deadly virus”, it however wants movement of poultry products and inputs to be accorded ease of passage as an essential service.
The poultry association further stated the industry risked collapsing if urgent steps are not taken to remove the restriction on the movement of vehicles conveying critical poultry like Day-Old-Chicks (DOCs), Meat and Eggs, Poultry feeds and drugs, which are daily needed by all Nigerians. According to the body, the poultry industry, which is on the path of becoming the mainstay of the Nigerian livestock industry, is becoming unstable and “might be completely destroyed”.
Ibrahim in the statement, also said PAN has been trying to communicate the close relationship between food producing companies that are considered system relevant and other sectors that are tightly connected and without which the food supply chain cannot be sustained.
“It is important to relax and make flexible, the rules that restrict movement of all kinds of vehicles” he said, while appealing to Government at the Federal and State levels to adjust the regulations to allow transports – trucks and buses carrying inbound supplies or outbound products of food, chicken and Day-Old- Chicks (Docs) and other FMCG products. He however noted that these trucks must have means of identification to enable law enforcement agencies identify them easily.
Government (at all levels) was implored to consider the plight of poultry farmers, by relaxing the restrictions on movement of vehicles for all means of transportation carrying Day-old-chick (Docs), and Eggs. In addition, poultry feeds, input and any other production inputs like Maize, Soyabeans and Offals for the continued production of poultry products, emphasising “poultry is food and therefore should be considered as essential items and services”.
In addition to the request that movement is eased, the poultry association also implored the Government to consider granting some palliatives to Egg and Day Old chicks producers who are unable to sell their chicks, eggs and feeds as a result of the lock down caused by the measures already taken by some state governments in restricting inter-state transport movement. Not left out are the input suppliers and other category of farm service providers who are critical to the food security survival of the country, and have become adversely affected.