Poultry farmers have appealed to the Federal Government to come to their rescue, as they are experiencing
a tough time finding maize to buy for the production of feeds.
Mr Joel Oduware, a member of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) Lagos Chapter, made the call on Tuesday in an
interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Oduware said that continuous increase in the cost of maize had adversely affected local poultry production.
He expressed concern that the growing cost of maize had crippled activities in most local poultry farms and had affected the price of poultry produce.
The farmer said that maize, which constituted over 60 per cent of poultry feeds, was currently very scarce and that
price was rising every day.
He said that earlier in the year maize was sold for between N60, 000 and N70, 000 per ton, but now selling for between N175, 000 and N185, 000 per ton.
Oduware said it was obvious that before the year runs out the price would increase further to N200, 000 or N250,
000 per ton because of the scarcity.
He said that the scarcity of
maize and the continuous rise in its cost had dire consequences on not only the poultry farmers, but on all associated
sectors linked to the poultry value chain.
“The local poultry industry does not have maize at the moment; a lot of farms are stuck and have subsequently shut
“The ban on the importation of maize is not making the commodity affordable to local farmers to run their poultry
“The local maize production in the country is too low, as the country is not producing enough to meet the demands
of the producing companies or the poultry industry.
“The hike in the price maize has also reflected in the price of locally processed chicken because maize constitutes
60 per cent of the feeds raw materials,” the farmer told NAN.
Oduware said local poultry farmers had resorted to alternative materials in producing feed meal but were still unable
to break even.
According to him, unlike other industries that also make use of maize in their productions, the poultry industry cannot survive without the commodity.
“The alternative that poultry farmers can use in bird feed production is sorghum, but sorghum is too light in nature and cannot provide the energy the birds need to thrive.
“Maize is critical as an energy source for poultry and not sorghum. Sometimes the farmers combine sorghum and
wheat meal as feed but they need to add enzymes to break down the wheat.
He said it had become imperative for the government to allow the importation of maize to supplement the current domestic supply deficit.
He said that because it was not only affecting the maize farmers but also other players in the value chain including the seed producers, chicken, and egg processors, among others.
“I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to lift the ban and allow importation of maize into Nigeria since our local maize farmers cannot meet up with the demand required consumers.”
“Maize is one of the most important cereal crops in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa and a staple food for more than 1.2 billion people in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The rising cost and its resultant scarcity pose a huge threat to the nation’s food security and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should also look into this,’’ he said.
Oduware further urged the government to provide more incentives to farmers and also help in the free flow of the
product value chain.