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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. 

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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.


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Eggs, a great natural source of vitamin D

Vitamin D is a nutrient essential for bone development, skeletal health, healthy muscles and regulating the immune system, yet it is estimated that 1 in 8 people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency [1]. There are lots of reasons to ensure you reach the recommended daily intake of this vital nutrient, and as one of the few natural food sources of Vitamin D, eggs can help you do it.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient with several important functions. Also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is produced in your skin in response to sunlight and is also naturally produced in a small number of foods, including eggs.

Good Sources of Vitamin D

The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. However, enjoying foods like eggs, which naturally contain vitamin D, as part of a healthy balanced diet can support you to meet your daily vitamin D requirements.

Vitamin D is only found in a small number of foods including:

  • Egg yolks
  • Oily fish
  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Mushrooms

Research has found that an average serving of 2 eggs contains 8.2mcg of vitamin D, a substantial portion of the recommended dietary intake of vitamin D [2], making them a great addition to the diet to support the intake of adequate levels of this vital vitamin.

Why is Vitamin D important?

One of the most important functions of vitamin D is the regulation of the amount of calcium and phosphate absorbed by the body, contributing to normal growth and development in children and maintaining our bone, teeth and muscle health as we age. Vitamin D also supports the normal function of the immune system, which is the body’s first line of defence against infection and disease.

In addition to these primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in fighting disease reducing depression and protecting against some cancers . Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that vitamin D may play a role in helping to reduce the chance of developing flu [6]. While further research suggests vitamin D may play an important role in regulating mood, with one study finding that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms .

Although vitamin D is commonly called the ‘sunshine vitamin’, in recent years studies have found that even those in sunny climates can have insufficient levels of vitamin D. Changing lifestyle factors, including spending more time indoors, sun avoidance and protection to reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancers, and pollution levels can all impact the level of vitamin D the body is able to synthesise [14]. Therefore, the consumption of foods which naturally contain vitamin D, such as eggs can support the intake of adequate vitamin levels.

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Young Egg Leaders discuss the opportunities and challenges of the future

The IEC Young Egg Leaders Programme brings together highly motivated future leaders from egg businesses around the world to support their professional development. In our final article in the series, current YEL’s Michael Griffiths, New Product Development Manager at Oakland Farm Eggs, UK, and Opeyemi Agbato, Executive Director Animal Health and Husbandry at Animal Care, Nigeria, share their views on the future challenges, threats and opportunities the egg industry may face.

What is the biggest untapped opportunity for the egg industry?

Michael: I believe there are lots of untapped opportunities for our industry. On the go and convenience products have witnessed significant growth in recent years as people look for convenience in their day to day lives. Although COVID will have impacted this in the short term, as less people commute to the office, it has also made people re-evaluate their health, and I believe there is a huge opportunity for eggs and egg products to provide a healthy and convenient source of nutrition.

Opeyemi: New research continues to showcase the reasons that eggs should be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. I believe there are more opportunities for this to be done on a regional level, which would enable producers to showcase the health benefits of eggs based on local populations and demographics.

What are the top business issues on your mind?

Michael: One of the biggest business issues on my mind at the moment is the implications of the move to cage free production in the UK and the future of enriched colonies. These decisions will have a huge impact on egg production businesses in the UK, and I believe it is important that we are able to have open and honest conversations about the environmental and welfare impact of all systems to enable consumers to have the option to make their own informed choices.

Opeyemi: One of the biggest business issues on my mind is how we maintain year-round sales of eggs to avoid large gluts which impact prices. I believe it is important for us to look at new opportunities to reduce fluctuations, whether that be through promotions, exportation or potential preservation techniques, such as freezing, which could be used to support a more consistent price throughout the year.

What are the key threats for the egg industry?

Michael: Avian disease remains a key threat to our industry, particularly Avian Influenza. As we continue to face pressure in the UK to move away from enriched colony production to free range systems this threat becomes even larger, which is often overlooked. The health of our birds continues to remain the top priority for egg producers around the world, and I believe it is important that considerations such as disease threat are taken in to account when decisions made outside of the industry impact our production systems.

Opeyemi: Feed Input price instability and unavailability has been a major threat. Low yield of vital grains such as maize and soy beans compared to industrial demand, driving production costs very high which is transferred to egg prices. This has been due to insecurity in the rural farming areas which has also discouraged investment in mechanization and other efficient farming practices that could improve productivity. Farm lands are underutilized during the planting seasons, leading to scarcity. Another threat to the industry is the misguided perception of the role of eggs on our health. Historic claims around cholesterol continue to circulate in some regions, despite more recent scientific evidence showing that eggs do not negatively impact cholesterol levels. I believe as an industry we all have a role to help promote the value of the eggs, and showcasing the high standards eggs are produced to can aide this.

Dr Opeyemi Agbato is the current PRO of Poultry Association of Nigeria Ogun State

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Press Release

Poultry farmers Ijebu Zone, on egg prices.

All of us the executives of PANOG IJEBU ZONE as farmers are as troubled by the circumstances around us as you the members.

We are currently facing intense threat that might force farms to go underground, as a result of the serious challenges confronting our industry.

The rising cost of poultry feeds which cut across all the species and ages is one of the factors responsible.
Irregular prices and underpricing of our products is also a very big factor.

During the last festive season, large number of the farmers have closed-shops, while those still operating are either struggling to remain in business at zero profit or incurring huge debts to stay afloat.

As an association with a vision, the executives at the Zonal, State and South-West level held a press conference to appeal and send an SOS to the Federal Government of Nigeria to save the poultry industry from imminent collapse.

As we all wait for the outcome of the engagement between the state executive, SouthWest and the FG before trying ‘other options’, the Chairman and other executives of the zone are working round to clock to provide a solution to these problems.

“The major happening is that farmers have been selling below their cost price due to individualistic behaviour of some of our farmers. To further minimise our losses the Executives have directed all farmers to have a *minimum* selling price of a crate of egg to be *₦1200*

Also on the long and medium-term, the PANOG IJEBU ZONE is happy to inform our members that we are kick-starting our cooperative society which in future will help in terms of feed price regulation, price control, access to cheap and quality feed and raw materials and soon.

Our telephone number :
+234(0)8075444840 – Secretary Ijebu Zone
+234(0)8038826321- PRO Ijebu Zone

Don’t let the muggles get us down… Poultry farming shall rise again.

Thank you for your understanding.


The Executives.
Poultry Association of Nigeria.
Ogun State.
Ogun state.

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World Egg Day 2020

Eggs, much more than the perfect protein

Eggs have been recognised as a protein powerhouse for many years as they contain the highest quality protein naturally available. However, the benefits of eating eggs are far more wide-ranging than protein alone, with eggs offering a healthy and sustainable source of essential nutrients needed for all stages of life. 

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