• Friday, April 12, 2024
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25m jobs at stake as farmers see poultry sector collapse looming

Oyo sets procedure for poultry farmers to avert zoonotic diseases

Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN),
South West Zone, has appealed to President Bola Tinubu, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Governors from the Southwest geo-political zone to save the poultry subsector from total collapse.

While urging the FG to intervene and save the sector from imminent collapse, it stated that the challenges facing the association are enormous presently.

Speaking on behalf of the association in Ibadan, Gideon Oluleye, the PAN Chairman, South West Zone said that the issue of naira redesign dealt a major blow on the viability of the sector that farmers have not recovered from.

The removal of fuel subsidy, he pointed out has also caused a galloping increase in the cost of inputs in the subsector, making it worse for farmers in the country to operate.

Read also: After BusinessDay’s story, Lagos moves to support poultry farmers

According to him, recently some maize were allocated to farmers by CBN and the commodity exchange, as part of intervention to bring down the soaring prices of maize in the market. About 40,000 metric tons was allocated at N220,000 and N225,000 per ton to farmers, while the farmers officials were still trying to negotiate a reduction in the price per tonnage which we farmers felt is too high for an intervention programme, that the commodity exchange gave a deadline of two weeks payment to access the maize.

“Only few farmers and stakeholders could meet the deadline and the commodity exchange and CBN cancelled and withdrew the allocation immediately at the expiration of the deadline. A few states like Oyo, Ekiti and others paid at the brink of the deadline, and yet the commodity exchange went ahead to cancel the allocation. All efforts to convince the commodity exchange to renew the allocation at the initial price given, proved abortive,” he said.

The PAN chairman revealed that the marketeering strategy to hoard the maize had caused unnecessary scarcity in the market, which had led to increase in the high cost of maize in the open market while revealing that the cost of maize in the south west is about N400,000-N430,000 per ton which is not affordable to farmers.

He further lamented that the price of maize which was formerly sold for N225,000 – N230,000 in the South West, now cost about N400,000 – N430,000 as a result of hoarding the item by the commodity exchange.

Gideon, however, advocated for the reduction in the price of soybeans for poultry and livestock sector of the country while calling on the federal government and the CBN to subsidise and grant a short importation for maize and soya beans in order to bridge the short fall currently experiencing in order to preserve the sector from collapsing.

“We are appealing to the Federal Government to grant access to capital through the CBN for long term lending and grants to the sector and create structures that will facilitate sales of our products.

“The Federal Government should use our products in feeding the inmates at our correctional, IDP Centres and government hospitals and appoint two officials of poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) as members of the committee managing the strategic grain reserve.”

Oyekunle Omidokun, PAN Chairman, Oyo State chapter, speaking in the same vein, revealed that the Agric sector has contributed an average of 24 percent to the National GDP, which has provided job opportunities for millions of Nigerians.

Read also: Nigeria’s poultry industry squeezed amid shocks

He lamented that the high cost of Diesel, Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) and foreign exchange scarcity has affected the cost of vaccines, veterinary drugs while urging the FG to release 20,000 metric tonnes of maize to PAN at discounted rate in order to mitigate the challenges facing the industry.

Oyekunle further advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) to urgently release the maize allocated to the poultry industry and provide enabling support schemes for the revival of the industry.
Also, the Chairman Poultry Farmers Stakeholders of Oyo State, Owolabi Tunde who was part of dignitaries that addressed newsmen during the press conference held at the secretariat of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) Elerumoke, Ajia Ibadan highlighted the problems facing the sector which could spell doom for the country.
Owolabi in his submission said the industry is presently worth 3.3 trillion naira, and is contributing 25 percent of agricultural gross domestic product and creating over 25 million direct and indirect jobs in the country.
“However this industry has been under tremendous challenges since the turn of the year with the poultry sector losing over 30 billion naira as a result of the ill implemented naira re-design and cashless program of the CBN. As if this is not enough, the recent scarcity and non-availability of maize is life threatening to this important sector of the economy.
“Maize which constitutes 60percent to 70percent of the poultry ration has suddenly become unavailable, threatening the survival of our birds. Maize production projection for 2022 was estimated to be 23 million metric ton while the annual demand estimated at 30 million metric tons leaving us with a shortfall of seven million metric tons”, said CEO of Jmages Chicken Firm.
He added that “this shortfall needs to be augmented with imports as urgent as can be. With the 2020 ban on importation of maize, Nigeria farmers have been caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
“We at PAN wish to state that we are aware of the government declaration of a state of emergency on food security in the country but the present situation of the poultry industry demands urgent intervention to save us from imminent collapse.”