By Mercy Omoike
A farmer in Lagos State, Mr Michael Aleagbu, has decried the poor sales in the poultry subsector owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Aleagbu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos the sharp drop in poultry sales was due to lockdown restrictions on most businesses that patronised poultry dealers.
He, however, expressed hope that business would pick up once the lockdown was completely eased across the country.
“Sales has drastically dropped in the poultry industry following the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown period which is gradually being eased.
“As poultry farmers, our major stocks are eggs and chicken and we get most of our patronage from eateries, restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses.
“However, because most of these businesses are still on lockdown or operating below capacity, we have been recording low sales in the poultry sector.
“As a matter of fact, most poultry farmers have large stock of eggs in their farms that are unsold, so it is a challenge we are currently facing.
“Hopefully with the easing of movement across the country, I believe things will gradually begin to look up for poultry farmers,” the farmer told NAN.
Aleagbu said the farmers tried to promote sales for poultry produce online but was not successful.
“It’s not all businesses that can be promoted online, in case of delivering eggs through online order and delivery; we may incur losses due to damages because eggs are fragile.
“The only way the government input can help to boost our sales again is to completely ease the lockdown to enable full patronage of the business,” Aleagbu said.
The poultry farmer said they had to reduce feed ration per meal time in a bid to cut the rising cost of feeding the birds.
“This in turn has reduced the number of eggs they lay; they do not produce at their optimal level following the meal reduction.
“It’s what the birds consume that determines what they produce, so we have reduced their feed to reduce their production of eggs and to minimise loss for us.
“We really have not faced any issue of disease outbreaks on our farms this period because once you follow the initial vaccination procedures you will not have issues with disease outbreaks,” he said. (NAN)