Poultry farmers lament shortage of maize in Nigeria

FARMERS under the aegis of Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria, (PAN) have lamented over the scarcity of maize and other feeds in the country, saying the scarcity has posed a major threat to poultry business in the country.

The association which called the attention of the federal government and other stakeholders to the challenges the industry is facing urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to lift the ban on forex for the importation of maize in the country.

Speaking during a press conference in Akure, Ondo state capital, the state chairman of PAN, Mr Gideon Oluleye, said the cost of poultry inputs in the country were on the high side, calling for the intervention of the federal government.

According to him, the supply of maize which constitutes over 50 per cent of poultry feeds has continued to shrink for some time while the price of maize has skyrocketed and gone beyond the reach of most poultry farmers.

Oluleye, said despite the poultry subsector being one of the main sectors contributing immensely to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and food security in the country, the federal government has paid little or no attention to the sector.

He envisaged that the situation if not quickly addressed, would adversely contribute to the unemployment situation in the country saying most farmers had closed down while many birds had been lost due to the shortage of the feeds.

He noted that despite the ban on forex for the importation of maize as well as ban on chicken and turkey, for the past two years, chicken and turkey flooded Nigerian markets and frowned over the double standard

He said, “Poultry business employs millions of people in the country. This sector is under serious threat as a result of the acute shortage of maize in the country.

“To worsen this case, recently the CBN also banned the importation of maize. This has further worsened the problem of the poultry farmers in the country to the extent that this sector may soon collapse.

“The cost of a ton of maize is now about N210,000, as against what we bought in February 2020 for N80,000, this is just too high. No small or medium scale farmers can survive under this condition.

“We are now crying to the federal and state governments to assist the farmers by releasing maize to the farmers to cushion the effects of maize scarcity on the poultry sector”

He appealed to the CBN to allow for an emergency intervention to allow farmers import maize into the country since the local production had been reduced drastically due to

Insurgency in the north and the attack on farms by herders.

“We however pleading with the the Federal and state governments to intervene in the production of maize and other input to poultry farmers at subsidised rate and that the CBN should open an emergency window for farmers to be able to import maize for a short while to supplement this acute shortage in order to save poultry subsector from total collapse.

 

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