By Mercy Omoike
The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Lagos State chapter, has called on government to make necessary interventions in order to save poultry farming from imminent collapse.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association made the call at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos.
PAN Lagos State Chairman, Mr Mojeed Iyiola, appreciated the government for its previous efforts in the sector but called for a quick intervention over 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.
“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.’’
According to him, poultry is a major source of protein that is affordable and very different from other sources of protein.
He said that with the increasing cost and sometimes unavailability of maize for feed, production of eggs was at stake.
“Without maize the poultry industry cannot exist, due to the high cost of maize for feed, most poultry farmers have closed shop because of the situation.
“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.’’
Iyiola said that the PAN was also seeking for long term solution to the problems, by addressing the issue of banditry that affected the productivity of crop (maize and soya) farmers.
“This will enable our farmers 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,” he said.
On his part, Mr Foluso Adams, General Secretary, PAN, Lagos, emphasised the need for government’s prompt intervention in the sector.
He said that the association was concerned over the threat to food security in the country.
“This year we calling on the government to aid the issuance of maize, Soya, and other feed components that will enable us produce affordably for all citizens.
“A lot of jobs in the sector is being threatened as so many poultry farms have closed.
“A crate of egg being sold at N2300 is way below the cost of production but due to the egg glut situation we have no choice but to sell or bury the eggs at a loss.
“In terms of the palliatives provided, poultry farmers should be included as they need help and succour this period,” Adams said.
Mrs Oluwatosin Oyetunde, PAN Chairperson, Agege chapter, called for the government’s intervention in insecurity issues in order to ease farmers’ plights.
“Feed is paramount to any livestock farming; we want the government to help us tackle the issue of insecurity so farmers can easily access their farms.
She said that if the challenge of insecurity was addressed, the cost and availability of maize would not be a problem to farmers.
“The government should come to our aid before the sector collapses.
“We are a very integral part to the success and development of the agricultural sector,” Oyetunde said. (NAN) www.nannews.ng