The prices of soybean and maize – the basic grains in poultry production – have increased by about 300 per cent and 170 per cent respectively, warranting the collapse of many poultry farms across the country.
The director-general, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Onallo Akpa, stated that these grains are highly important for producing and manufacturing poultry feed in the nation.
Mr. Akpa said the worst hit farms where those operated by small scale poultry farmers, as most dealers in this category had closed shop due to their inability to purchase feeds.
He stated that the cost of production in poultry farming was about 80 per cent grain-based and that these grains were soybeans and maize.
He said the rise in the prices of the grains was why the costs of eggs and chicken had been increasing steadily, stressing that poultry farmers in Nigeria were suffering the brunt. He also stated that the micro-ingredients for poultry were completely imported, as sourcing foreign exchange had remained a problem.
The director general said: “The prices of eggs and poultry birds have never gone beyond 15-20 per cent, but the price of maize in the last 12-15 months has increased by 150 and 170 per cent. Soybeans has also risen drastically, seeing more than a 300 per cent increase in the last few months.”
Asked to state the number of poultry farms that may have closed down due to the rising cost of feeds, the PAN DG replied, “A lot of farms are closing down because the business is no longer sustainable. People are finding it difficult to feed their chickens and poultry birds to make the required margins.
Another issue is the unavailability of data. We do not have accurate data of all the poultry farmers nationwide, as many farmers operate their poultry farms in their backyards. When such persons are unable to feed their birds and shut down operations, we are unable to keep all their records. So, what we do is to look at the demand for feeds, vaccines, livestock disinfectants and medicines.”