IBADAN- The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Oyo State branch on Tuesday appealed to the federal government to relax the ban on importation of maize and ensure palliatives are given to the farmers to cohesion hunger in the country.
As they also registered their displeasure over what they called ‘unfavorable government dispositions and regulations’ from the Oyo state government.
The association at a press conference addressed by its state chairman, Gbemisoye Agboola, at the Iyaganku, Ibadan secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), said despite the fact that Oyo State Poultry farmers are the most hit during this Coronavirus pandemic, different agencies and individuals in the name of the Local and State Government agencies are making daily trips to poultry farms to harass farmers for several illicit and other arrears of levies and taxes.
According to him, “Oyo State Branch is using this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to relax the ban on importation of maize for a period, to use this time to release the grain reserved across the country and to release all available palliatives to cushion the effect of maize scarcity to teeming suffering grass root farmers.”
“This is to allow this essential grain to be available for feed production while we increase local production to meet up with the demand of maize.”
“This appears to be the only way out and the most assuring pivot that the government is serious in revamping agriculture in this country. We know that some individuals are feeding the presidency and state government with false information that the country has enough maize as of now to satisfy the demand of both human and livestock, but the present hardship has proven this wrong.”
“Maize constitutes between 50% to 70% of chicken feeds. It is the cardinal input of poultry business. Due to high demands for maize by humans, there has been an unhealthy competition for this all important staple food. The problems of insecurity and flooding has made it impossible for farmers to go to the farm. The few tonnage of maize has been hijacked and cornered by speculators, opportunists and political jobbers who also think it is their birthright to dictate the going in the industry.”
“The seeming proactiveness of the Federal Government was the release of few tonnage of maize to states. We read about the much publicized release of trailers of maize to Lagos state poultry farmers, we are still expecting those meant to cushion our hardship in Oyo state. However, it must have gone the usual route to office poultry farmers.”
“As we speak, Agencies and individuals in the name of the Local and State Government agencies are making daily trips to poultry farms to harass farms for several illicit and other arrears of levies, taxes etc. We know every government supports agriculture globally for obvious reasons but not so in our own Oyo state.”
“The covid-19 lockdown has sent several farms to early grave and some poultry concerns already on the verge of collapse. The price of maize which was N80/kg in March 2020 has crept to N180/kg today and is still increasing. That cannot be said of the price of poultry products. As if that is not enough, we now have the ban on importation of maize.”
“Between March and July this year many poultry farms have either down sized or fold up because they either cannot get maize to produce feeds or cannot afford to buy finished feeds to feed their chicken”.