High cost of feeds: Poultry farmers urge FG to consider maize importation

POULTRY Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kwara state chapter, has urged the federal government to consider importation of maize and soya beans to meet increasing cost of poultry feeds.

Speaking at the inauguration of new executives of the association in Ilorin, its new chairman, Mr. Ojo Akinwumi Richard, said that insecurity had prevented local farmers to produce adequate maize and soya beans that could meet local demands for feeds production.

“Main challenges we’re facing as poultry farmers now is the issue of high price in feeds and drugs including every other inputs. More importantly, the feeds because the feeds we used to buy for a bag at N2,600/N2,700 about nine or 11 months ago is now N5,100/N5,200. That’s a little above a 100 per cent. So, it’s a very big problem for us in poultry business.

“When we were buying feeds for N2,700, we were selling a crate of eggs for N850. Now that there’s a double increase in the cost of feeds, one would expect that there should be double increase in the price of eggs, like N1,600 but we’re selling at N1,200. So, the point here is that we’re bearing the cost of the high price of feeds. It’s a big challenge and that’s why many are checking out of the business.

“The way out is for the government to allow for importation of maize and soya into the country. It’s true that government desires we produce maize locally for self sufficiency, but presently we are unable to do that because of insecurity pervading the whole country. The farmers that are supposed to plant this maize can no longer go to farm because of insecurity, so people stay back.

“So, to continue in poultry business, the immediate solution is to allow for importation of maize and subsequently when we’re able to meet the needs we can stop the importation.

Ojo, who said his administration would collaborate with government on school feeding programme and revival of age-long young farmers club in secondary schools, added that the programmes would help to encourage entrepreneurship, economic self dependence among students, even while in school.

He also said the association would come up with innovative ideas to improve the poultry business and solve challenges of the association.

Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer the association, Alhaja Sikirat Kikelomo Alatise, who pleaded with governemnt to take urgent steps to address the matter, said that, “We contribute over 20 per cent GDP to the national economy. So, we can’t afford to allow poultry industry collapse.

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