JOS – Poultry farmers under the umbrella of Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Plateau State chapter, Thursday, pleaded with Plateau State and Federal Government to come to their immediate rescue, lamenting that their farms were collapsing under the rising cost of Corn in the market.
They decried the pace at which small poultry farms were closing down as farmers are no longer able to sustain production as a result of the high cost of Corn.
Speaking to newsmen in Jos, the Plateau State Chairman of PAN, Mr Johnson Bagudu appealed to the Hon Simon Bako Lalong government, and that of His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to intervene urgently to save the industry from imminent collapse.
Bagudu lamented the large numbers of small scale Poultry farms that are closing daily as they can no longer cope with rising production costs, and depressing prices of poultry products- Eggs and Chicken meat.
He said “Corn, a critical material for feed production costs between N17,000 – N18,000 per bag from N7,500 a bag just 3 months ago. This exorbitant price increase has practically grounded production of feed where corn inclusion forms 50% – 60%. Under this weight of Corn prices, how can the farmer cope? He asked.
Worse still, the corn is not even available when sought after. The markets are completely dry of corn, a situation forcing farmers to seek alternative feeding practices that are damaging to the birds health and performance.
Critically hit is the nascent Broiler industry. Bagudu maintained that the broiler industry achieved a boom and made significant progress to self sufficiency stemming from the ban on importation of frozen chicken. Local broiler farmers rose to the occasion and supplied domestic demand, but with the threat to production increasing from the acute corn scarcity, these gains will be completely eroded.
Bagudu further pleaded that this situation need to be addressed soonest, to prevent a crisis in the value chain which is bound to happen. “Businesses such as feed mills, veterinary chains, poultry chick producers, egg vendors, meat processors are all bound to shut down in the end, impacting negatively on the economy and the nations GDP”.
“in the short term, We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to allow immediate importation of maize into Nigeria to bridge the gap as this intervention is critically needed now”. We need this ban lifted and the CBN support with granting licenses to import Corn immediately.
We equally appeal to both the federal and state governments to release whatever quantity of Maize that is left in the strategic grain reserves. He mentioned that Plateau is privileged to have one of such reserves at Anguldi, Jos south Local Government. Releasing corn from the storage reserves will provide a temporary palliative to douse the tensions.
He concluded by stating that government intervention in empowering farmers to build capacities in the current farming season is equally desired since our local maize farmers can not meet up with the demand of maize required by maize consumers.”