The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Tuesday alerted that the Nigerian poultry industry is now on the brink of a dangerous precipice as the industry may lose about N1 trillion annually while at least a million jobs are being threatened.
The association raised the alarm during a press conference addressed at the Oyo state NUJ Press Centre Iyaganku, Ibadan on the dearth of maize in Nigeria presently threatening the survival of poultry industry.
Speaking through the state PAN chairman, Mr Agboola Gbemisoye, the poultry farmers emphasised that something has to be done by the government to help salvage the largest agricultural value chain and prevent imminent collapse of poultry industry.
PAN called on the federal government to relax the ban on importation of maize to rescue the nation’s poultry industry from collapsing, as the ban is ill-timed, saying, “there is dearth of maize in Nigeria as of now arising from ploys by some individuals who are agent of destruction and mean capitalists set to hijack the industry, squeezing out life and existence from poultry farmers .”
“As we speak, 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, taxes etc. We know every government supports agriculture globally for obvious reasons but not so in our own Oyo state,” he said.
Mr Gbemisoye added that “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.”
The association then urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Seyi Makinde to please use their “good offices to prevail on masquerading principalities, powers and authorities antagonising the importation of maize.”