NIGERIA – The Lagos State chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has decried the high cost of maize, soy, and wheat, the major components of feed production leading to the skyrocketing costs of poultry products.

In an interview, Iyiola Mojeed, the chairman of the association lamented that owing to the hard times his members have been subjected to, many have been forced out of business.

According to him, “the availability and prices of maize, soy, and wheat, the major components of feed in our industry, have gone to the extreme, meaning that production of eggs and other poultry products is at risk in the country, which normally shouldn’t be.”

Mojeed said that the larger chunk of the maize used in our industry is sourced from the northern part of the country which recently has been adversely affected by the issue of banditry, driving most of the farmers away from their farms.

He noted that “currently, the business is no longer profitable as most poultry farmers have closed shop. About 30 to 40 percent of big poultry farmers in Lagos State have closed down their farms because they make losses on a daily basis.

“If the industry is allowed to collapse, it would have a profound negative impact on human lives.

According to Mojeed, in developed countries, the well-being of poultry farmers is not taken for granted. Their governments do all they can to assist the industry but in Nigeria, the reverse is the case.

He therefore appealed to the government to come to our aid considering the importance of our industry.

He urged the government to give PAN a national import license to import maize and soy for its members, adding that the existing importers of maize are working against the farmers because they’re selling the product at over 200 percent higher than the landing cost.

Recently, experts reported that the average prices of maize in the country have surged by 110.9 percent to N480,000 per tonne in August from N227,500 per tonne in June, the highest monthly surge on record negatively affecting the feed sector.

Similarly, the country relies on imports for its soybean and micro ingredients – vaccines and drugs for birds, and with the recent naira devaluation, their prices have tripled.