By Blessing Ibegbu
Some poultry farmers in Karu, Nasarawa State have decried the continuous hike in the cost of poultry feeds and appealed for urgent intervention by the government.
The farmers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Karu on Saturday, appealed to the state and the Federal Governments to intervene by partnering with the poultry feeds producers to reduce cost/
One of the farmers, Rosemary Samuel, also a distributor, said that the increase in poultry feeds and other inputs had affected the industry in diverse ways.
According to her, many farmers who cannot cope have closed their farms, while the workers disengaged from their jobs.
“Some of those that have lost their jobs are at the risk of indulging in crime to make ends meet,” she said.
Dr Sam Okwulu, a dealer in poultry feeds, urged the government to provide a conducive environment for agricultural business.
“The government should desist from policy somersault, which makes business planning and forecast frustrating.
“The government should have consistent and routine meetings with farmers to feel their pulse and provide inputs for feed production to make nutrition for birds less expensive.
“The government should make policies and come up with programme that will ensure a ready market for the products.
“There should be provisions for soft and non-interest loans for farmers and remove all bottlenecks to accessing government facilities,” he said.
Okwulu, also a veterinary doctor, said the tendency to circumvent was likely and would portend danger to the birds and consequently to the public.
He cautioned that malnutrition among the populace could ensue if the cost of feeds for poultry products continued.
Okwulu urged the Federal and State Governments to ensure security in every part of the nation as no one would operate in region threatened by bandits.
Another farmer, Abdullahi Aliyu, said that since hike in the price of poultry feeds in 2023, there had been low turn out in the purchase of chickens.
“It is very difficult for me to sell 10 chickens a day, before now, I usually sell between 20 to 30 birds (chickens) per day.
“I understand why there is low patronage. If we buy feeds at affordable price, then, we sell chickens at cheap rate also. But now, the opposite is the case,” Aliyu said.
Also, Eucharia Enyi, CEO, ‘Sino Farms stated that the rate at which chicken feeds are expensive called for urgent intervention.
Enyi said that feeds was the most important thing in poultry business as without feed there was no business.
She stated that over the years, prices of feeds always rise during Christmas and after the period, it would reduce but this time the price had doubled.
She noted with concerns how cost of fuel determined the price of commodities in the country, adding that cost of poultry feeds determined cost of chicken. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chinyere Bassey/Isaac Aregbesola