The Poultry Association of Nigeria has warned that the acute scarcity and astronomical prices of soya beans and maize would threaten additional five million poultry jobs in the short term if the government does not intervene.
Olalekan Odunsi, the South-West general-secretary, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), spoke on Tuesday during a press conference organised by the South-West wing of the association in Ibadan.
“Today, maize is sold for N210, 000/MT in most states of South-West, Soya meal N240, 000/MT,” Mr Odunsi said.
“Due to the importance of these two items, the price of poultry feed has continuously been on the increase from N2,750 to N3,000 in April 2020 to N4,850 to N,5300 now.
“In December, most farmers were unable to sell their broiler because the cost of production was higher than what an average Nigerian can afford.
“Presently, egg is going out of the reach of an average family with ideal price at N1, 300.
“So we really need government’s intervention to save the current 10 million jobs in the poultry value chain of our economy,’’ he said.
Mr Odunsi called on the government to facilitate the importation of animal grade maize and soya meals.
He said the importation would save the poultry industry from collapsing.
He said the urgent importation of animal feed grade of maize would sustain the over 50 million layers, 100 million broilers, 1 million breeders and other classes of poultry until the next harvest season.
Mr Odunsi also urged the government in the interim to enforce a ban on the export of soya, seed and processed soya bean meal.
He enjoined governors in the region to put in more efforts to the cultivation of maize as they had done with rice.
Mr Odunsi stressed the need for strong collaboration among maize farmers association of Nigeria, soya bean farmers and PAN.
He said such would determine the PAN’s actual yearly need and to assess the later yield in terms of its need for proper planning.
Also, PAN Representative in Ogun, Blessing Alawode, said the date given by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the release of maize in February would be late for farmers.
Mrs Alawode said the collapse of the poultry industry could also lead to the collapse of maize and soya industries.
Dignitaries at the occasion were representatives of PAN from Southwest zone and Kwara.