As predicted last December by the national body of the poultry association that it might shutdown production this month, the Southwest wing of the Poultry Association Nigeria (PAN), has raised an alarm on the imminent collapse of the industry anytime soon.
Currently, over N2tr investments and 10 million jobs are already at risk as the farmers are finding it difficult to sustain over 50 million layers, 100 million broilers, one million breeders and other classes of poultry until the next harvest season.
The challenge facing the industry is due to the astronomical rise in the cost of maize and soybeans, which are the main components of feed used for poultry production.
A ton of maize, which, hitherto, sold for N85, 000 a year ago, currently costs between N145, 000 and N160, 000; while the price of soybeans has risen from N130, 000 to between N215, 000 and 250,000.
Following the sharp increase, the cost of feed increased, from N3, 000 in March to between N4, 600 and N5, 300. The cost of poultry industry feed, which contributes 75 per cent to production costs, has risen by over 75 per cent within nine months.
The association, which raised the alarm in Ibadan, Oyo State, through its General Secretary, Dr. Olalekan Odunsi, said as the region’s poultries, representing more than 60 per cent of the national poultry population is threatened, the Federal Government should without wasting time “approve the importation of Animal Feed Grade of Maize to sustain the over 50 million layers, 100 million broilers, one million breeders and other classes of poultry until the next harvest season.”
The body maintained that in the interim, government should enforce a ban on export of soya, both seed and processed meal, as well as ensuring strong collaboration between Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria, Soya Farmers Association of Nigeria and PAN to determine the body’s actual yearly need and assessing the later yield vis a vis her need for proper planning.
Industry experts blamed the development on increase in exportation of maize and soybeans, mop-up of maize grains for COVID-19 palliatives, the protracted lockdown, #EndSARS protests and lack of incentives to the industry.
“The poultry industry in the Southwest geopolitical zone is over six decades growing consistently and steadily to a population of 30 million, representing more than 60 per cent of the national poultry population.
“In investment, this sector is worth over N2tr, in job creation, it employs over 10 million people directly and indirectly, using its wide value chain from farm to field. It is worthy of note that this sector is almost 100 per cent private-driven.
“However, if urgent attention is not given to the lingering crisis of grains, especially maize and soya, we fear that an industry with such enviable statistics may suffer a total collapse,” he said.
Odunsi noted that around July last year, the price of maize rose from N105, 000 to N165, 000, due to inadequate supply against the huge demand by poultry sector and other users, he added that: “In the midst of this hike in price, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced a ban on Forex for the importation of maize, which further drove the price to as high as N185, 000 per ton.
“Currently, the jobs of maize and soya beans growers are not in any way threatened because they cannot even meet the huge local demand for the products”
They appealed to Southwest governors to put as much efforts to the cultivation of maize as they have done with rice. ”As at today, maize is N210, 000 per ton in most states of the Southwest, soya meal N240, 000 per ton, due to the fact that these two items form about 75 to 78 per cent of an average poultry ration, the price of poultry feed has continuously been on the increase from about N2, 750 to N3, 000 in April 2020 and between N4, 850 to N5, 300 now.”