Poultry farmer laments low patronage

As Christians are celebrating Christmas across the world, poultry farmers is not on the same wavelength as many say the outcome of chicken sales is a far cry from what it used to be; ADEOLA TUKURU writes.

For many poultry farmers, the years 2021 will go into the books as one that not only recorded low sales, but also the prices of feeds rose astronomically. The economic crunch in the country which resulted in the high cost of food items in the markets made many residents not to patronize poultry farmers.

Hamzat Yahaya told Business Starter that most poultry farmers are not happy as they struggle with low sales because of the high price of chickens influenced by the cost of feed.

According to him, many farmers specifically raise broilers targeting the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

When Blueprint sampled the opinion of resident they lamented the hike in prices of market wares ranging from consumables to gift items.

This was as they lamented that the harsh effect of the economy has affected their purchasing power owing to limited access to funds.

Findings show that the price of a live chicken at Wuse market ranges from N3,500 to N8,000.

Another resident who simply identified herself as Tolani could not hide her disbelief as she explained to our correspondent that she had budgeted N7,500 to get three live chickens at the rate of N2,500 per one.

“I didn’t expect the live chickens to be this expensive because they were sold between N2,000 to N2,500 the last time I bought them.

“I had planned to buy three for the family feast on Christmas day but as it stands now, I may have to opt for frozen chicken,” she explained.

Some sections of the market where items including tomato, meat, vegetable, pepper and fruits were displayed attracted more shoppers.

Popular among gift items shoppers opted for were wine, fruit juice, calendar and perfume.

A middle-aged man, Mr Benson Ajayi, who was at the market to get some gift items said he was only doing so out of the demands of the season.

He lamented that a lot had changed about how people looked forward to the season with excitement and eagerness.

Ajayi said: “We are preparing for Christmas even though it doesn’t appear that anything of such is on the way.

“Everywhere is just dull. No changes in the atmosphere. You can’t feel Christmas in the air like in the time past. No balloons anywhere for carnival.”

A Christmas hamper containing milk, beverage, wine, juice and pasta is sold for at least N5,000

Some sold at N40,000 had rice, wine, beverage, milk, pasta, two packs of sugar, Pringles, hot dog, baked beans, custard, groundnut, oil and four kitchen rolls.

ActionAid on food supply in W/African sub-region 

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) revealed recently that Nigeria who contributes about 51 percent of the total food supply in West African sub-region suffers post harvest loses estimated to the tune of N3.5trillion annually.

The Country Director, Ene Obi revealed this in Abuja at the 3rd ECOWAS Agriculture Budget Summit.

She further added that the effect of the losses will affect the sub-region of each West African country.

According to her, ECOWAS parliamentarians need to engage in their different countries on the biennial reports, all the processes and the right investments that should be ensured so that countries that is not on track can come on track.

She stressed on the need for countries to look at the investments and strategies in the area of essential services, access to credit, women in agriculture, youth in agriculture, post harvest loses reduction, support and storage facilities, research and development, monitoring and evaluation as well as coordination.

She expressed concern that annually, the European Union Subsidizes it food to West Africa adding that in 2019, food subsidy was in tune of 235million euros for dairy products, cereal and preparation was in tune of 205million euros, while poultry meat and preparation was in tune of 97million euros.

She said this reduces the issues of competition and the food we produce will be on the low format and people will prefer to buy imported food leading to spate of unemployment in the country.

She called on need for trade balance and tasked the Federal Government to make budget allocation available for people to be ready. 

Need for extension service, transportation 

Also, the Food and Agriculture Programmes Coordinator, ActionAid Nigeria, Azubuike Nwokoye highlighted extension services, processes facility and transportation as an issue.

Other challenges, Azubuike explained is access to credit which is less than 43 percent, access to agricultural insurance at 4.77percent, support for land rights, reduction of post harvest loses, and financial services among others.

PAN on hike of chicken 

The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has warned that the cost of chicken during the yuletide might be as high as N10, 000 per unit.

The association said unless some urgent steps are taken by the federal government, the high price would make it impossible for average citizens to purchase chickens during the yuletide.

It said in a release Tuesday that with the unabated increase in feed prices, especially the prices of soya beans and soya bean meal, the prices of eggs and chickens are likely to be beyond the reach of many Nigerians.

PAN Ogun state chapter chairperson, Blessing Alawode, therefore appealed to the federal government to save the Nigerian poultry industry from imminent collapse by stalling the spiraling prices of bird feeds and concentrates used to feed chickens.

She said the feed inputs such as soya beans are going out of reach of an average poultry farmer with the price of the commodity going from N115,000 per ton in August to N215,000 in November, 2021, representing an increase of 86.95 percent within a four-month period.

While demanding quick intervention from federal government and its agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs Service, among others, Alawode accused feed millers and merchants of large scale corruption by hoarding the products.

She alleged further that the merchants were illegally exporting the products to neighbouring countries, thereby putting unnecessary pressures on the industry at home.

“In August 2021, maize and soya were sold at N170, 000 and N115, 000 per ton respectively, with the market price of commercial feeds at an average of price of N3,300 per bag of 25kg,” she said.