LAGOS – Just two weeks to Christmas, there are indications that Nigerians may find it difficult accessing poultry products during this season as farmers have raised alarm that the industry is on the verge of total collapse.
The Poultry farmers have lamented that the industry is in a dire situation at the moment which needs urgent attention in order to sustain the industry.
Ezekiel Ibrahim Mam, National President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), during a press conference lamented the scarcity of maize and soybeans which form the larger percentage of poultry feed.
“More worrisome at the moment is the Soybeans supply and demand situation in the country. There is virtually the near scarcity and absence of Soybeans in the Nigerian markets at this period of harvest.
“The reasons being adduced as responsible for the scarcity and high cost are insecurity in the country, climate change and activities of traders buying and hoarding the grains: Soybeans and Maize. Intelligence and field reports have also indicated that the Soybeans in seeds and meals are being exported out of the country thereby causing the present crisis been witnessed.
He said that the poultry industry feed cost is about 75 percent of the cost of poultry production, and this has risen by over 75 percent between March and November, 2020.
He said that the resultant effect will be high cost of eggs and poultry meat and the eventual non availability of poultry proteins.
He said there are possibilities that it will draw back the Poultry industry to the pre 2005 poultry development years.
He called on the government to allow for the immediate importation of Soybeans and Maize into the country as a stop gap measure to mitigate the impending doom in the Nigeria poultry industry.
However, Mam said that in view of the negative impacts that will befall the Nigeria poultry Industry if urgent actions are not taken immediately by the Government, the industry might be forced to shut down completely by January 2021.
Foluso Adams, General Secretary of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter in a telephone interview said with the rate in incessant increment of maize and non-availability of soybeans, the prices of few birds that are available will be in the high side.
He said poultry farmers at the moment is running their farms at loss and that most of them will have to sell their birds at a giveaway prices because they will not want to incur more loss.
“The truth be told that the loss is not helping matter at all. This is supposed to be the harvest time for maize but as at now there is nothing, we wonder what will happen by January, February or March next year.
“The only option we hope to see is if there is importation of maize. Soya is been exported and it is so sad that the industry could go so bad, it has never been like this.
“It is threatening our food security and I can assure you job loss will be on the increase as many people will be searching for jobs because so many farms will close down.
He added, “The cheapest source of protein is the egg and now look at how much it is sold, how many people can buy that, it is now a luxury product.
He called on the government to do something that the killing in the north and the insurgencies are not helping matters at all.
“That is the situation we are now, the poultry industry need a respite now, it is a sad thing,” he lamented.
Speaking further, Adams noted that farmers are losing now because they are not selling at the price it ought to be.
He noted that farmers that have collected loans from the banks, and cannot pay back because their statistics have been disturbed, that right now the farmers are counting their cost.
“Chicken is a no go area now and next year it won’t be too good,” he said.
Also Stephen Olufemi, a former executive of PAN Lagos State, in his own view said if there is enough money in circulation, poultry farmers would be happy and sell at their prices and as a result, many of them would be able to continue with the industry next year.
On the other hand he said, when there is no sufficient money in the circulations which is likely to happen, farmers have no choice but to sell at loss.
He said this would not allow about 50 percent of the present poultry farmers to continue the business come next year.
Olufemi added that the farmers will invite more loss on any attempt to delay the sales beyond the festive season.