• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

High prices dampen live chicken sales during festive season

High prices dampen live chicken sales during festive season

…Nigerians opt for frozen ones

Many Nigerians opted for frozen chicken for Christmas and New Year celebrations as the cost of live ones went through the roof.

Ore Ayomide, a Lagos state civil servant, said she had to buy frozen chicken because it was cheaper than live ones. “Imagine we bought two live chickens for New Year and Christmas, I would have spent N30,000 as against N21,000 for frozen chickens.”

Ayomide, a mother of three, said she wanted to buy live chicken for Christmas and it was priced at N15,000. “I eventually got three kilos of frozen chicken for N10,500 and it’s more than the quantity I will get from a chicken.”

She said it’s the first festive season in years her family didn’t get to do the tradition of killing chicken. “We had so many visitors around; so frozen food was a better option cost and quantity-wise.”

BusinessDay findings show that the price of a live chicken ranged from N10,000 to N15,000 in some markets in Lagos.

Fani Davids, a small poultry farmer, said chickens were more expensive during the festive season because of the increase in the cost of feeding them. “A 25kg bag of layer marsh now sells for N15,000, up from N8,000 in 2022.”

Feed constitutes a chunk of the cost of production for poultry farmers and any hike in the prices of maize and soybean will push up farmers’ production costs.

The country’s livestock subsector, which is dominated by poultry, contracted by 30.57 percent in the first quarter of 2023 as against 5.55 percent in the corresponding quarter in 2022.

The country relies on imports for its soybean and micro ingredients – vaccines and drugs for birds, and their prices have jumped following the recent devaluation of the naira.

Olamide Racheal, a Lagos-based accountant, said: “In my house, we did not kill chicken for the festive season due to the price; rather my father shared a goat with a friend. We got more value for our money from the goat.

“January is usually a long month; it’s necessary for us to make wise financial decisions so as to have enough for the month.”

Food inflation, which constitutes 50 percent of the inflation rate, rose to 32.80 percent in November from 31.52 percent.

The average price of a 10kg carton of frozen chicken increased by 36.1 percent to N32,000 from N23,500 in December last year, while a kilo goes for N3,400 as against N2,400 in the same period last year.

Chickens aren’t the only poultry affected by the hike in price.

Joshua Kayode, a turkey farmer in Lagos, told BusinessDay that the price of turkey feed also doubled.

“Turkey was sold for N35,000-N60,000 last year. You can get it for the same price but it will be underweight. To get a good-sized turkey, you’ll spend anything from N70,000 to N80,000,” he said.