By Abubakar Inuwa Tata
Egg production is becoming so complex in recent times due to new influx of egg farmers in the poultry sub-sector of livestock production and management. As a new entrant in the market, we did a lot of research to find out the key drivers of demand for eggs in the north and particularly in the north east geopolitical zone and the following are the key factors:
- Economic condition of consumers: Protein intake has a positive correlation with the level of income and economic prosperity of the zones. The higher the level of income, the greater the level of egg consumption. This was also observed within the period immediately after payment of salaries for the middle income government and private sector workers.
- Climatic condition: People in the zone tend to consume less eggs during heat more especially around the month of March to May every year.
- School Session: We discovered that eggs intake tend to reduce significant when students are on break (vacation) and more especially during the long vacation (July – early September). During this period both students of tertiary institutions and primary and secondary schools are normally on break and they used a lot of eggs and indomie for meal (tertiary) and lunch box for the kids. The consumption normally reduce due to the fact that parent who struggle to provide for the lunch box will take a break ditto to students who are returning to their parents for break.
- Presence of Alternative: At the onset of raining season, Guinea fowl will begin to lay eggs in the wild and northerners have unrestricted appetite for the sweet Guinea fowl eggs. Therefore, people tend to switch their preference away poultry eggs while the season last.
- Government Intervention Policy: The introduction of school feeding program has helped a lot in reducing annual gluts in the market more especially in the month of March – May, every year. The reelection and non appointment of substantive ministers has affected the SF program and until the government is fully back in place, the gluts in some locations may persist.
WHAT WE DO AT TIMES LIKE THIS
- During period of low or depressed demand due to change in economic and climatic conditions, we engaged in appropriate pricing to deal with the situation. We advertise our products and tell consumers why the eggs produced here are the best in terms of major nutrients.
- We dispose old layers and engage in brooding DOC. Our brooding period would always tally with the period of depressed demand so that we would not loss anything including customers during the brooding period since there is low demand which the few birds left in the farm can meet up with.
- We switched to farmers feed which is cheaper than the mainstream feed while maintaining health birds at low cost while moderating production.
- Optimal Egg Production – Many farmers goes into the business without adequate research on the optimum size of market place taking into the consideration other farmers in the neighborhood and contiguous areas. A farmer should identify the gap he want to close in the market and produce within that limit. It is suicidal to go into large scale production without a serious need assessment,gap analysis and sensitivity analysis with different scenerios ranging from worst case scenario to the most optimistic scenario. In all case, the farmer will not be caught unaware as he already documented ways to mitigate any risks associated with the outcome of all possible scenario. With this, a farmer knew there is a possibility of egg glut and he factor ways of dealing with the situation in case it arises.
How do you deal with this issue in your own location. Please share with us. Thank you and God bless you all.
Happy week day Farmers!!!
Abubakar Inuwa Tata (firstname.lastname@example.org)
AIT Integrated Farms
Kwadon, Gombe State