Poultry Industry May Collapse over Rising Maize Prices in Nigeria, says PAN
By Obiabin Onukwugha
Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), has cried out over rising prices of maize, saying the industry may collapse without federal government intervention.
The Nigerian poultry industry is said to contribute approximately 25% to the agricultural annual GDP of the country.
PAN in a statement on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to save the sector from what they termed an imminent collapse by granting new import waivers on Maize.
It expressed concern that collapse of the industry may lead to further food shortages and hunger being currently experienced in the country.
The statement signed by the Lagos State Chairman of PAN, Mr Mojeed Iyiola, said landing cost of maize has increased from N200,000 per metric ton, to about N600,000.
PAN, which appreciated the federal government for its previous efforts in the sector, however called for a quick intervention over the unavailability and non-affordability of maize for feed production.
“We really appreciate the government’s contributions to the sector; they have moved the sector ahead in various aspects.
“So we want to express our appreciation and at the same time, let them know our predicaments and the problems we face as an association”, he said.
PAN blamed egg gluts which according to the statement, has become an annual problem on low patronage as purchasing power for households have dropped drastically due to the current harsh economic realities.
The statement read in part: “Due to the hardships faced in the sector, the issue of egg glut has become an annual problem that has almost become permanent as purchasing power and demand has dropped drastically.
“We appeal to government at all levels to assist this sector from total collapse; considering the importance of our industry to food security we need the government’s intervention.
“The industry is at the point of total collapse and we need the government’s help urgently.’’
PAN noted that most poultry farmers have closed businesses due to the high cost of maize for feed.
“We want the government to grant PAN at the national level the license to import maize for the survival of the sector.
“The already existing importers of maize are working against farmers, the landing cost of maize should not be above N200,000 per metric ton, but now a metric ton of maize costs about N600,000.
“The poultry sector caters for over 180 million Nigerian workforce and contributes 25 per cent to the agricultural GDP; it should not be allowed to collapse.’’
PAN in the statement, further called for long-term solution to other challenges facing the industry such as banditry which according to the body has affected the productivity of crop (maize and soya) farmers.
“This will enable our farmers to return to the farms and subsequent availability of maize and soya at the lowest cost.
“If we can get maize and soya at the lowest cost, the rising cost of poultry produce will also drop”, the statement added.