COVID-19: Oyo poultry farmers lose over N200bn to pandemic

Members of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Oyo State chapter, have lost not less than N200bn since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

This revelation was made by the state chairman of the association, Mr Agboola Gbemisoye, while speaking with the Tribune Online on Wednesday.

Agboola, noted that the loss was incurred as a result of the closure of some businesses due to the coronavirus outbreak but was aggravated by movement hinderance of livestock products particularly day old chicks by security operatives saddled with the enforcement of restriction of movement by the government.

“Day old chicks meant to be transported to other parts of the country from Oyo state are dying on the road due to the refusal of security personnel to let them move.

“We have made series of complaints to appropriate authorities but there is yet to be any change in the attitude of these security operatives who claimed the restriction order is from the Inspector General of Police.”

He further said that aside the restriction of movement, another reason for the loss of revenue is egg glut which has been the order of the day since the closure of some businesses such as hotels, restaurants and the rest.

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Earlier in the week, representatives of farmers in the state, Azeez Maboreje, otherwise known as farmers ambassador had sent an SOS to the Oyo state Commissioner of Police, Shina Olukolu, which read: “Good morning sir, kudos to you for the great works being done in Oyo State.

“It is important to draw your attention to our plight. As ofthis morning, 20 of our buses carrying day old chicks were returned at podo opposite Top One. All efforts to engage police officers were abortive as they claimed order from the governor.

“The present situation is serious as the worth of the birds to farmers is in excess of hundreds of millions of Naira. Our farmers are bleeding already due to negative impact of Covid-19. To add today’s losses to our present suffering is serious and unbearable.”

Maboreje added that the Police boss in his reply said they were exempted from the curfew, stating that the Commissioner Police sent another SMS, asking them to proceed on their journey.

But as of the time they exchanged messages, Maboreje said the deed had been done as hundreds of the chicks died in the process.

“As I speak to you, there is a member of the association who buries 45,000 crates of eggs on regular basis due to lack of patronage. What that simply means is that he will be unable to pay the person who supplies the feeds being used to feed the birds on the farm.

“What I am actually saying in essence is that the loss being incurred by poultry farmers in Oyo state cut across the poultry value chains.

“We want to use this opportunity to call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to please help us prevail on the Inspector General of Police to look into the issue of the restriction of movement of our poultry products in order to prevent further loss of revenue.”

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