Poultry farmers in Ogun state Tuesday raised the alarm of an imminent collapse of the poultry industry, following what they called an arbitrary increase in the price of maize and other essential ingredients used in poultry feed production.
The chairman of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Ogun state, Mrs. Alawode Blessing Isioma, who spoke to journalists at a press conference at the association’s secretariat in Abeokuta, the state capital, lamented in March that the price of maize was increased from N97, 000 to N160, 000 per metric ton, representing 65 percent increase.
She said more than 350,000 poultry farmers have been forced out of business while over 1,000 egg farmers have also lost their jobs as a result of the increase in the price of maize and other essential ingredients used in poultry feed.
She added that the price of Soya bean meal was also increased from N110, 000 to N135, 000 per ton, representing a 22 percent increase.
Alawode attributed the alarming increase and scarcity of maize and other ingredients to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her words: “The poultry industry is under siege. Many of our farmers have downsized their production capacity by over 300,000 birds while many others have buried thousands of crates of eggs to save themselves from total collapse.
“Feed constitutes 75 percent or more of what makes the capital of what goes into the poultry business. The increase and scarcity of maize and soya bean meal is forcing farmers to sell their eggs and birds at very cheap prices.
“The arbitrary increase in the price of maize was at a high level of N90,000 – N97, 000 per metric to which today is now scarce and price, at N150,000 – N160,000 per metric with no end in sight for the price increase for a material that constitute an average of 55 percent of the poultry ration.