The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in the South West has decried the high cost of maize and soya beans, stating that this could affect the sector. The association added that there are about five million jobs at risk if the issue is not attended to urgently. PAN revealed that many of its members are in debt while others have been forced to close their businesses as a result of high cost of feed.
The poultry sector, which is almost 100% privately driven, is worthy over N2 Trillion, providing over 10 million direct and indirect jobs across the value chain. In July 2020, due to inadequate supply against demand, the price of maize rose from N105,000 – N165,000 per ton. The price further increased to N185,000 when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the ban on Forex for the importation of maize. Currently, the price of maize is about N210,000/MT in most Southwestern states, while soya is N240, 000/MT.
The price off eggs is used as a reference point, with the price at N1, 300 per crate, which is not ideal for the average family, but the farm gate price is between N1, 000 and N1, 100.
General Secretary, Olalekan Odunsi, has urged the government to approve urgent importation of Animal Feed of Maize to sustain the layers, broilers, breeders, and other classes of poultry until the next harvest season. He also called on the government to enforce the ban on soya exports and prioritize maize cultivation across the nation. Odunsi also called on governors in the Southwest to put as much effort into cultivation of maize locally as they have done with rice.
He also stated that there needs to be strong collaboration between Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria, Soya Farmers Association of Nigeria, and PAN to help determine the sector’s annual needs in order to plan properly.