Ogun Poultry Association laments the high cost of feeds - NATIONAL TRUMPET


Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Ogun Poultry Association laments the high cost of feeds

Hundreds of members of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter (PANOG) on Tuesday protested against the astronomical rise in the cost of maize and soybeans, which are the main components of feed used for poultry production.

PANOG also raised alarm on the imminent collapse of the industry anytime soon if urgent steps are not taken by the Federal government to salvage the situation.

Leading hundreds of its members to Okemosan, Ogun State Governor's office, the Ogun State Chairman of the Association, Idowu Asenuga said millions of jobs may be lost if the government failed to intervene immediately. 

Asenuga said, "The present economic and political climate threatens the sustainable production of poultry feeds, most especially, Maize and soybeans.

"Maize also known as corn, accounts for over 55% of the composition of poultry feed as it is one of the most efficient sources of energy for all livestock. 

"That is no longer the case today as its price has shot up by over 300% in under 9 months owing largely to the level of insecurity in arable lands, low crop yield, speculative procurement (hoarding) and the lack of post-harvest infrastructure for drying and storage all which have rendered the essential commodity scarce and unavailable for industry use. 

"According to the Feed Industry Practitioners Association of Nigeria (FIPAN), Nigeria requires over 17 million Metric tons per annum of maize to meet its current demands however it produces just over 10 million Metric Tons presently, livestock feed mills across the nation are scaling down in production, rationing feed for its desperate farmers and some shutting down outrightly. 

PANOG said 'Poultry farmers across the nation are also watching helplessly as their flock forcefully undergo ‘moulting ‘ (starvation), with some selling birds prematurely to avoid a total loss. 

"Egg farmers are selling eggs 20 to 30% below the cost of production due to a lingering egg glut recently made worse by the blockade of Nigeria’s land border to the Niger Republic, one of the largest market destinations of our table eggs. 

The collapse of the poultry industry will mean that over 10 million jobs would be directly and indirectly lost, the majority of restaurants and food services would go out of business due to little or nothing nutritious to offer its patrons and food security would take multiple steps back in retrogression.

However, if urgent attention is not given to the lingering crisis of grains, especially maize and soya, we fear that an industry with such enviable statistics may suffer a total collapse,” he said.

Asenuga said the downward spiral is avoidable if the government takes the subject of grain planting, harvest, storage and distribution seriously by putting proactive measures in place. 

"These measures are grouped into short-term and long-term. 

"In the Short Term, recognizing the role the state plays in poultry supply to the nation, the Ogun State Government (OGSG) needs to urgently facilitate the release of the palliative maize at a subsidized rate, from the National strategic grains reserve directly to poultry farmers, through the Poultry Association of Nigeria Ogun state (PANOG) along with other stakeholders to bridge the huge supply deficit.

The Ogun government should urgently appeal to the Federal Government to grant Maize import quota, with duty waivers to feed millers and other organizations to meet supply gaps and bring about much-needed price relief.

The Ogun government should assist in mopping up poultry products from farmers and their subsequent inclusion as palliatives for the needy, commencement and sustenance of the state school feeding programme.  

Ensuring means of dissolving cartels of grain merchants engaged in arbitraging, and often creating artificial scarcity by hoarding maize thereby depriving the rightful productive consumers.

In the Long Term, Provision of massive infrastructural developments (Schools, Hospitals, roads, electricity, security outfits etc.) in rural areas to encourage our teaming youths to reside and farm in their local jurisdictions and prevent urban migration.

"Activation of a similar effort of the Government 20,000 hectares of rice cultivation for both maize and soya beans more so that the value chain of maize and soya will generate more employment and taxes for the state.

"Massive investments in irrigation, drying and storage projects across the state to tackle the problems associated with climate change to avoid recurrent crop failures and losses.

"Enablement of a robust Agricultural development plan particularly for agricultural mechanization to ensure sustainable food production in Nigeria.

"Poultry production thrives better with an excess supply of grains and legumes. 

"These are the challenges that Ogun state faces as the largest producer of poultry in the nation and we must take to the forefront in tackling this problem sustainably. 

"We believe we can overcome it with the quality and capacity of the governor we have in office only if adequate attention is given to the state of the sector. 

'The Ogun State Government should call immediately a stakeholder meeting with all value chain participants within the poultry industry to look at the challenges of the industry and the outcome to be shared at the Federal level for further insight and the prayers of the industry be attended to with the approval of all the strategic views raised.

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