Agriculture as a business venture in the Nigerian society is widely regarded as a very tedious venture by most citizens of the country, even though the reward in most cases appears to come out juicy if perseverance is put into place on the side of the farmers and stakeholders.
However, it is of great necessity to note of the challenges looming ahead for any individual or organisation that intends delving into this venture, especially the cost of production as a factor which continues to act as a stumbling block that hampers productivity of agricultural entrepreneurs.
Hence, the colossal financial resources required to actualise productivity of agro farming in the country prompts us to take a critical look into poultry farming which happens to be a mouth-watering profitable venture local poultry farmer.
Moreover, while many talk about the possible dividends that could be achieved from the business of poultry farming, others sing a different kind of music which is evident from this interview with Lagos based poultry farmer, Joel Oduware who lamented exhaustively about the worrisome Gigantic cost incurred by local farmers in production and processing of poultry in the country.
Oduware who holds membership credentials of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), boldly expressed himself in an interview with our correspondent on Monday in Lago as he complained about the high cost of bird feed due to scarcity of grains in the country and also the cost of imported feeds.
“The major challenge being faced by poultry farmers across the country is the cost intensiveness of production. Also the cost of pullets (the chicks of layers) has posed some challenges to local poultry farmers this year.
“The high cost of production, low selling prices and low purchasing power are some of the challenges we face in the Nigerian poultry industry.
“Most of the grains we use for bird feed are harvested in the northern part of the country and then exported to neighbouring countries hence the cost intensiveness of bird feed.
“Presently, the local major feed millers import their grains to use locally. We are producing enough grains but the truth of the matter is that we are not taking advantage of it locally.
He also lashed out at the political interest in the country , which as a result leads to grains being harvested to neighbouring countries for food with the sole aim of making additional gain or profits.
Oduware said that cost of bird feed would crash if locally produced grains could be used to cater for indigenous farmers’ needs first, before the rest is exported.
He stressed that if grains could be made available within the country, then the cost of feeds would not only crash but the poultry industry would be boosted in all aspects.
“It does not make any sense that we do not have enough grains in the country, yet we export the little we harvested only to import at a higher cost later.
“When we are self-sufficient locally then we will think of exporting to the neighbouring countries.
“Apart from the poultry industry, a lot of some local industries are importing grains and yet we are producing enough grains, this should not be so,’’ Oduware said.
Reacting to the state of local egg production, the expert said the industry had no challenges, adding that Nigeria had been rated number one egg producer in Africa.
“On the Nigerian poultry scene, we presently do not have any challenges with egg production, we even have egg glut because there is excess supply of eggs that demand cannot cover.
Meanwhile, he also talked about egg production in the country, laying emphasis on statistics that show Nigeria as number one in Africa in egg production.
Poultry farming stakeholders should also take note, about the programme currently running in the country called the National Egg Production Programme.