by Panog Panog No Comments

Poultry Farmers Cry As Investments Shrink

Nigerian poultry farmers are angry. Their problems are growing in a vicious circle which has plunged the industry into deepening crisis.

Since 2019, the farmers have been wailing and kicking over sudden unpredicted rise in the cost of inputs such as maize and soybeans, which constitute about 70 per cent of the feed components.

This forced a bag of feed to rise from N2,700 to N5,600 within 12 months and has remained so in the last 36 months.

In addition to the cost of maize which swelled from N140,000 to N223,000 per metric tonne, the inability of the farmers to access vaccines for their birds against Avian Influenza (bird flu) has further worsened their situation.

Mr Idowu Asenuga who has been a poultry farmer for over 25 years is bitter with what the poultry industry is going through in the country. For him, the government is not even listening to them and the industry is shrinking by the day.

Asenuga, who is the Ogun State chairperson of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, does not foresee a better future for the industry unless government change its policy on vaccines, compensation, maize and soybeans.

In an interview with our reporter, he said despite the fact that egg is the cheapest source of protein in Nigeria, unfortunately, the federal government has not been supporting the poultry industry.

Mr Idowu Asenuga who has been a poultry farmer for over 25 years is bitter with what the poultry industry is going through in the country. For him, the government is not even listening to them and the industry is shrinking by the day.

Asenuga, who is the Ogun State chairperson of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, does not foresee a better future for the industry unless government change its policy on vaccines, compensation, maize and soybeans.

In an interview with our reporter, he said despite the fact that egg is the cheapest source of protein in Nigeria, unfortunately, the federal government has not been supporting the poultry industry.

“Farms that have been affected by avian influenza, government is not protecting them and they are not allowing them to protect their farms by vaccination. So, we found it counter-productive and very worrisome and this is affecting the industry, the poultry industry is shrinking and people are losing their jobs, coupled with the fact that our members are not even secured; they are being kidnapped and killed on daily basis,” he said.

Secondly, the PANOG chair said because of the current state of the poultry industry, farmers find it difficult to get funding from commercial banks.

“As a commercial farmer and chairman of the PANOG, I tried to seek succor from one of the commercial banks and I was turned back. So, you can’t even get support from commercial banks; they will tell you the poultry industry is not vibrant and they won’t lend you money. It’s hell for us right now as we speak and unfortunately governments at all levels are not coming to our aid,” he stated.

Thirdly, on the issue of maize and soybean, he said “We find it very worrisome that at the peak of COVID, banditry, kidnapping, that was when government chose to ban forex for the importation of maize. The logical thing is that if any country cannot produce sufficient food, the rational thing for you to do is to import pending when you are able to produce enough. This has spelt a lot of doom for the poultry industry. Most of our members have closed shop because the price of maize and soy have gone beyond their reach. Last year, the price of maize was N90,000 before the ban but today before the new harvest, it was selling for N250,000 per tonne and a bag of layer feed for instance that was N2800 now sells for about N5,600 that is 100 per cent increase and feed constitutes about 80 per cent cost of production. If anything happens to the maize and soy, the cost of production goes up. That same period last year, a crate of egg was selling for 800 and 900. And it is impossible for us to double the price of egg while the price of maize of soy have double, that is the challenge we are having,” he said.

The poultry sector consumes about 50 per cent of maize produce in Nigeria and a collapsed poultry industry will also drastically affect the maize and soybeans farmers.

The farmers said the first thing government needs to do is to put a waiver on the importation of maize and make forex available for farmers who are willing to import to feed their birds, adding that if there is no import, the price of maize will not be checked.

Secondly, some farmers’ positon on vaccines is that government needs to allow them import avian influenza vaccines to vaccinate their birds and protect their investments.

Above all, they want government to look at targeted funding towards the poultry sector specifically at single digit interest rate so that farmers can easily pay back. They argued that borrowing at 28 and 30 per cent interest rates is not sustainable.

A source at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said FG’s policy on Avian Influenza is eradication and not vaccination, stressing that vaccination allows the disease to remain and continue to mutate. 

by Panog Panog No Comments

Eat eggs to boost immune system, poultry farmers urge Nigerians

The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has advised Nigerians to cultivate the habit of daily intake of eggs to boost immune system and ensure better vision.

The PAN Chairman, Alimosho Zone, Lagos State, Mr Oluwole Fayefunmi, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at a roadshow to commemorate the World Egg Day on Friday.

The World Egg Day is celebrated globally on every second Friday in October.

Fayefunmi said the association embarked on a roadshow to sensitise Nigerians to the benefits of eating eggs daily.

“We are creating awareness on the importance of having eggs constantly in our diets.

“We are also going to contribute crates of eggs to orphanages around Alimosho to celebrate the day.

“The health benefits of eggs are enormous, if you do not eat eggs frequently, you are missing a lot. Eggs help build immune system and aid better vision.

“Our message is that eggs are suitable for children, adults and the elderly. There is no limit to the number you can eat daily.

“I want to urge Nigerians that instead of getting a bottle of soft drinks at N150 per bottle, they should go for a nutritious egg at just N50,” Fayefunmi said.

On his part, Mr Stephen Olufemi, the former Secretary-General of the association, Lagos chapter, reiterated the need to correct misconceptions that eggs are not suitable for adults.

“The major reason we are celebrating this World Egg Day is to educate Nigerians on the nutritional value of eggs to their health. We want them to know that it is good to eat eggs.

“We also want to correct misconceptions about eggs not being healthy for adult consumption. Eggs have immense nutritional benefits for adults, as well as children.

“The lutein in eggs is very beneficial to adults, as it helps aid clearer vision in the elderly.

“The roadside show is to let Nigerians know that egg is good for everyone.

“This awareness will help promote and encourage the business of poultry farmers as it will ensure more patronage of eggs,” Olufemi said.

Also speaking, the association’s patron, Mr Adewale Balogun, noted that it was pertinent for Nigerians to understand the benefits of egg consumption.

“We are here to make Nigerians understand the benefits of eggs. Eggs are so vital to human diet and health.

“Even the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said it is important to eat eggs regularly, to stay healthy, as it contains virtually all vitamins and minerals.

“If you consume at least one egg a day, you are safe and will be free from regular visits to the doctor,” Balogun said.

(NAN)