The president of the poultry Association of Nigeria Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim Mam has entertained fears that the poultry industry might shut down by January 2021 if urgent steps are not taken by government to save the situation. Mr Mam stated this in a press release tagged ‘Crisis and the Survival of the Nigerain Poultry Industry: A Critical Moment‘ on Thursday 26th November 2020 in Abuja. According to him, the imminent shut down will be due to the astronomical rise in prices of maize and soyabeans which are the major ingredients of feed used in poultry production.
“In view of the negative impacts and disaster that will befall the Nigerian poultry industry if urgent actions are not taken by government, the industry might be forced to shut down completely by January 2021. The present atmosphere and scenario of things are very alarming and critical.”
According to Mr Mam, the astronomical rise in feed prices has already forced some small and medium sized poultry farms to close down thereby threatening about 5 million jobs at the peri urban and rural areas. This has also caused a significant drop in the contribution of the poultry industry to the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AGDP) of the national economy thereby negating the government drive for agricultural transformation.
A ton of maize, which, hitherto sold for ₦85,000 a year ago, currently is being sold for between ₦145,000 and ₦160,000 while the price of soyabeans has risen from ₦130,000 to between ₦215,000 and ₦250,000. Following this sharp increase, the cost of feed has increased from ₦3,000 in March to between ₦4,600 and ₦5,300 per 25 kg bag. The cost of feed, which contributes 75% to production costs, has risen by over 75% within nine months. Experts have blamed the scarcity of soyabeans in Nigeria on insecurity in the country, climate change, and activities of traders buying and hoarding the grains, especially soyabeans and maize.
The president of the poultry association called on government to declare a state of emergency for the poultry industry and assist the association in organizing a national conference on poultry production in Nigeria. According to him, an immediate halt of the export of soyabeans and soyameal in order to protect local food systems and security, opening a window for immediate importation of soyabeans and maize into the country as a stop gap measure to mitigate the impending doom in the Nigerian poultry industry and engaging the association on constant basis on issues that affect the industry before critical policy decisions are taken in order to remove most of the ambiguities in policies that affect the industry and the generality of Nigerians. LIVESTONEWS.