The prices of poultry products in Nigeria are at their highest levels ever as the country faces its worst food inflation in at least 15 years, traders, consumers and producers in the sector have told the media.
Food inflation reached 27 per cent in March 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, making it the highest since 2005. The rise has seen the prices of all classes of foods, especially proteins, skyrocket almost daily, leaving Nigeria’s large population of poor citizens to struggle to get food and key ingredients.
One food sector that has been particularly hit is poultry, which millions rely on for protein needs. A kilogram of chicken that previously sold for N800 now sells for N2000, while a crate of egg that sold for N700 now sells for N1500.
Poultry farmers, livestock feed processors and marketers said the rise in the prices of key ingredients for poultry feeds is the major reason for the hike in prices of poultry products in the country.
The two most important ingredients are maize and soybeans. The supply of these two crops has fallen steeply in recent months, they said, and a key reason has been insecurity that has put farmers off work last year, COVID-19 disruption, weather changes, and challenges with importation.
The feeds are expensive because their ingredients are costly and scarce. The president of the Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State chapter, Timothy Okunade, has stated that farmers now buy a tonne of maize at N195,000 against N90,000 it sold for a year ago. Soybeans goes for N310,000 a tonne as against N130,000 last year.