By Gami Tadanyigbe
Some poultry farmers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Sunday expressed delight as they recorded high patronage ahead of the Christmas celebration.
The farmers, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said in spite of the economic hardship, the level of patronage was encouraging.
Samuel Magaji, an old layer bird farmer in Gwagwalada, said that he had about 3, 000 birds and sales had been encouraging in the last few days compared to 2017.
Magaji added that due to paucity of funds, he was not able to rear so many birds as he would have wanted.
“I am very impressed with the level of patronage despite the economic hardship in the country, people are still buying.
“If the level of patronage continues the way it is going, all my birds would have been sold before Christmas.
“Some customers said they were advised by their doctors to avoid beef and red meats for health reasons, and should eat fish or chicken,’’ he said.
Magaji said that some old layer birds were going for N3, 000 and 4, 000, depending on the size, adding that they have rich taste than the broiler birds.
However, Mrs Sarah Kaka, a broiler bird farmer in Kuje Area Council, appealed to the government to support farmers with soft loans to boost their businesses.
Kaka said that poultry farming could promote the Federal Governments diversification of Nigeria’s economy if supported with soft loans.
According to her, poultry farming was capital intensive, saying that it was expensive to purchase farmlands in FCT as well as other farming inputs.
She said average size of broiler went for N3, 500, while a bigger size was between N4,000 and N5,000, depending on the size.
“I am very happy with the level of patronage so far, but due to lack of funds, I was not able to rear many birds as expected.
“Poultry farming in Nigeria is probably one of the most lucrative farming businesses you can do but requires adequate funding for it to thrive.
“The farmers we presently have are not producing enough poultry products because of inadequate funding.
“The government, especially ministry of agriculture should assist farmers with soft loans to enable us boost our business,’’ she said.
Another poultry farmer in Abaji Area Council, Mr Audu Musa, lamented the increase in the price of feeds, saying that it affected the prices of chicken sales during Christmas season.
He said that he had to increase the price of his chicken during the yuletide to enable him recover his capital and also make a little profit. (NAN)