The Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Lagos State Chapter, Iyiola Mojeed, has lamented that the production of eggs and other poultry products is at risk in the country, due to the prices of maize, soya and wheat, which are major components of poultry feed which has gone to the extreme.
Iyiola stated this while addressing newsmen in Lagos stating that maize can be produced all year round in Nigeria, that the chunk of the maize used in the industry is sourced from the northern part of the country and that the issue of banditry had driven most of the farmers away from their farms. He said that the issue of egg glut was initially a perennial problem, but today it’s an annual problem.
“Before now when it comes, within two to three months we get over it, but this time around, it has come to stay permanently and this is what we do not want. So, we are crying to governments at all levels to protect this industry from total collapse because if the problems we are facing now are not addressed immediately, it could lead to the total collapse of the industry. We cannot over-emphasise the importance of our industry because our presence affects virtually every human life”, he said.
He noted that if the industry is allowed to collapse it would have a profound negative impact on human lives most especially in Nigeria. “In developed countries, the wellbeing of poultry farmers is not taken for granted, their governments’ do all they can to assist the industry, but in Nigeria, the reverse is the case. So, we are appealing to the government to come to our aid considering the importance of our industry. We are now proposing a stop gap solution to address this problem to prevent total collapse of the industry. Currently, the business is no longer profitable as most poultry farmers have closed shop. About 30 to 40 per cent of big poultry farmers in Lagos State have closed down their farms because they make losses on a daily basis.
“We want the government to give PAN national import license to import maize and soya for their members because the existing importers of maize are working against the farmers because they are selling the product at over 200 per cent higher than the landing cost. We are calling on the government to please help in the insurance of soya and other ingredients that will make us have cheaper products so as to produce enough to feed the populace,” he added.