The challenges of Covid-19 on poultry farming in Nigeria





“If the nutritional benefit of poultry is important for many body function and supply desirable nutrient need as source of animal protein, government, private sectors have to engross and enrich the industry”.
The increase in price of grain such as maize, millet, and guinea corn etc. is getting alarming due to the incidence of COVID-19 pandemic which has affect input of animal production and resulting in the increase in cost of output in animal production industry in all ramification. 


Feed alone accounts for up to 70 to 80% of the total cost of broiler production (Akdeniz et al., 2006) and adequate nutrition is one of the major inputs necessary for the full expression of the genetic potentials of poultry and the prevention of stress (Adene, 1989). Poultry accounts for 19.4% of the world’s meat production compared to beef (38.3%), pork (34.9%), mutton (4.6%), Chevon (1.4%), buffalo meat (1.0%) and horse meat (0.4%) (Considine,1982). Moreover, poultry industry is an area where scientific innovations have served to make production one of the most technologically advanced protein production systems in the world (Dibner et al., 1998). Consequently, poultry production is the most economic route for producing high quality animal protein within the shortest possible time for the rapidly increasing human population across the world, and especially in the sub-Saharan African countries. This is because of their short generation interval and the intensive method of production, which allows high stocking density. Broiler chickens are fast growing animals, which are able to achieve market weight within the short period of 6 to 7 weeks nowadays. Poultry meat has many desirable nutritional benefits such as low lipid content with a relatively high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids and higher protein content (Kinsella et al., 1990; Nettleton, 1991). An incentive to greater broilers production will therefore go a long way in solving the problem of low animal protein intake.


Protein Requirement by ManThe 68g of animal protein per head per day for man recommended by FAO (1982) is a standard yet to be attained in many developing tropical countries of the world. Analogous as Nigeria who consume below required. The problem of protein deficiency in Nigeria is evidenced by the fact that an average Nigerian consumes about 10 g per day of the minimum daily animal protein intake of 35 g recommended by Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO, 1997). On the global level, 40% of the world’s population is malnourished especially in countries where people live mainly on cereals, grains and tubers that cannot supply some essential amino acids needed for growth and development. Animal proteins contain most of the nutrients: essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins which cannot be obtained from vegetables. This fact calls for an increase in production of animal product. Besides, the livestock industry in Nigeria represents a very important national resource since it contributes substantially to the national wealth and also supply the populace with the important animal protein required for healthy living (Kallah, 1992).

Which lead or as an agent to various health problems such as edema, marasmus, kwashiorkor, organ failure, wasting and shrinkage of muscle, impaired mental health and weakness of immune system and can prevented as the result of enriching animal production industry.


Ease source of animal protein 
 For good management to give an appreciable result in terms of animal production and products especially meat, egg and milk, the role of feed and feeding must be given high consideration. The classes of animal which production can contribute rapidly to the available meat supplies on the short run are snail, rabbit, swine and poultry. However, the major factor militating against intensive animal production in Nigeria is the high cost of feed and feed ingredients, especially the conventional energy and protein feed ingredients like maize, soybean cake and groundnut cake. The ever-increasing cost of poultry feeds with the attendant increase in the cost of chicken and eggs which shows that there is need to call on the attention of different investors, companies, richer and government to engross and enrich the agricultural industry.


Comparison of previous and current market price

The current market for grains after today 6th/July/2020 market survey at a well known market (kowdan market) Gombe, Gombe States. The state which is identified as the center of north east part of the country, with farmers that have interest on grains farming and the land that support the act  compare to south west and South south part of the country.

Having a  higher price increase in farm produced with a very clear significant different in price compare to the time before the out break of the COVID-19 pandemic. At early February of 2020 the price of grains such as maize per bag of less or equal to 60kg is #8,000 but today is #16,500 of the same bag and kg, sorghum per bag of less or equal to 65kg is #7,500 but today survey show difference to #14,000, millet per bag of less or equal to 70kg is #8000 but today market is reading #16,000 and peal  groundnut per bag of less or equal to 65kg cost #33,000 then was 20,500 etc. which as directly affected poultry producer and the product as a results of the covid-19 pandemic. The traders of this products, both large and small  scales traders clamouring on the prices of raw material which affects the output of farmers and lead to low turn up of consumers. The smaller scale farmers complained to the extend of saying if know changes in the prices of inputs it will cause the down fall of there primary income of the business. As a result of inputs is greater than outputs or equal.  Input >Output or Input = Output.


Recommendations

Farmers has to also increase there profit by meeting extensions agent, research colleges e.g FCWM Niger State, FCFFT Niger state AND RRI JOS etc, organization, farms to have their updates on research work been done. Because researcher are busy researching using different non-conventional feed in other to reduce cost of production as their contribution to the campaign for “get rid of deficiency of protein”. However, the research unit has to also be given special attention by the resource person such as the government itself, companies and investors etc to standardize the unit and positive outcome should be achieve. 
If the nutritional benefit of poultry is important for many body function and supply desirable nutrient need as source of animal protein, government, and private sectors have to engross and enrich the industry.
Abdulazeez Taufeeq (MNIM), researcher, animal production professional[email protected]

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