The chairperson of Ogun State chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mrs Blessing Isioma Alawode, yesterday, said the poultry industry almost folded up this year due to high cost of grains, especially maize.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Trust at the just concluded Poultry Show in Abeokuta, the state capital, Mrs Alawode said the situation was so serious that many poultry farmers were forced out of business.
She, however, said the importation of maize by some companies saved the industry as it forced down the price of maize in many parts of the country.
Mrs Alawode said survival of the poultry industry largely depends on the availability of raw materials, mostly grains stressing that where that is absent, many farmers will crash out.
She said in the heat of the crisis, maize was sold at N160,000 per metric ton and wondered how many poultry farmers could cope with such price without corresponding increase in prices of poultry products such as eggs.
While maintaining that importation of maize this year was what saved the situation, Mrs Alawode, explained however that, “We are not saying it is encouraging to import maize at the expense of local growers of maize, but we must tell ourselves the truth, it was difficult for the poultry farmers during the period of scarcity.”
She said though it would be too early to determine what the price of the grain would be this year, the general belief was that many farmers grew maize this year and that there was hope the scarcity scenario would not repeat itself.
She decried multiple taxations imposed on poultry farmers in Ogun State and urged the state government to harmonise its levies.
Mrs. Alawode also called on the state government to partner with local farmers in order to grow more grains, assuring them of ready market from the poultry farmers.