The poultry production in Nigeria amount up to 454 million tonnes of poultry output meat per annum and 26 billion table eggs per annum with a standing population of over 180 million birds. The poultry industry is a private sector driven subsector of the Nigerian economy with over 25% contribution to the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product of the national economy (Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim, PAN National President).
Twin crises; Maize and Soybean shortage erupted due to the global pandemic crises (COVID-19) which lead to movement restrictions and financing difficulties to many poultry farms in Nigeria.
On 11th August, 2020, Dr Stephen Adejoro in his presentation at PAN press conference held at the Nigeria Union of Journalist Centre, Oyo State reported that Nigeria is not producing more than 8 to 10 millions tons of maize per annum, yet 100,000 tons of maize are smuggled out of Nigeria every year because of its quality.
Of recent, Soybean supply and demand has been on high alarming rate. Nigeria domestic production of Soybeans is treading upwards, yet still lags behind the rapidly growing demand from the poultry Industry. Domestic use of maize and Soybeans are enormous and the gross decline in the domestic production in Nigeria is due to the current global crises and insecurity in the country.
With recent disruption cause by COVID-19 and the scanty inclusion of egg the most suitable COVID-19 prophylaxis in palliatives, Livestock Industry Foundation for Africa (LIFA) is afraid that the Poultry Industry is gradually fading into another depression like in the early nineties when maize importation was placed under import licence.
According to information gathered by LIFA, many farmers are seeing their investment take a hit as poultry farms are folding up. Thus, the poultry industry engages over 20 million Nigerians in direct and indirect employment providing sustainable livelihood.
LIFA wish the federal government put pressure on the grain supply of maize and Soybeans that now get to farm gates at the exorbitant prices of #160,000 and #250,000 per tons respectively. LIFA reemphasize the COVID-19 health value of eggs as the first line of defense for COVID-19 to the vulnerable and hence should reach them but not at the demise of the farmers who are now finding it difficult to feed their birds.
We (LIFA) think it’s time for the government to put an immediate stoppage of exportation of Soybeans seed or meal, further intervention on the importation maize for Livestock feeds to salvage poultry industry from collapsing.
Livestock Industry Foundation for Africa