A poultry farmer, Mrs Juliana Ibitoye, has appealed to the federal and state governments for interventions that will help to reduce the price of poultry feed inputs in the country.
Mrs Juliana Ibitoye, Chairperson, Erikorodo Poultry Farm Estate, Ikorodu, a suburb of Lagos, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday.
Ibitoye said that the sector was on the verge of collapse due to high cost of poultry feed inputs such as maize, soybeans and sorghum.
She urged government to intervene through loans or grants at a lower interest rate to enable farmers to meet feeds demand in the country.
“It is very difficulty to get loans from banks, we have made efforts many times without success. It is sad and frustrating,” she said.
She said that the price of poultry feed inputs such as maize, soybeans and sorghum had skyrocketed and even sometimes, unavailable.
Ibitoye said that the development had led to the continuous increase the price of poultry feed which now cost between N6,100 and N6,400 per bag.
She noted that quantity of these inputs grown and produced in the country were not enough to meet the demand of the sector.
Ibitoye said that the scarcity of the inputs also contributed to the increase in the price of poultry feeds.
She noted that the Federal Government had granted license to some importers to import maize into the country but the impact was not been felt.
She said even with the intervention, the number was inadequate and cannot meet the demands of farmers in the sector.
“The most important thing poulty farmers are really asking for now is for the federal and state governments to help in bringing the price of poultry inputs down.
“They include maize, soybeans, sorghum and others inputs used in milling poultry feeds.
“Some of these inputs can no longer be imported into the country because of the Federal Government ban.
“What we grow and produce in the country is not enough for the sector,” she said.
Ibitoye said that the price of poultry products such as chicken and eggs would continue to rise due scarcity of feeds.
She noted that government could also support farmers with grants and low interest loan to salvage the sector from total collapse.
“If government cannot come to our aid in the area of inputs, then farmers will keep increasing their prices every time.
“At times, we are in a position that we cannot even increase the price of our products.
“As I speak now, we sell a crate of egg from the farm at N1,700, which it not really what it should be when compared with the price of feed.
“The price should be about N1,800 minimum from the farm.
“This is why many poultry farms are downsizing and closing down when they cannot restock their birds because the money realised cannot restock the same number of birds.
“Government really need to come to our aid, maybe have meetings with us so we can tell them what we need, our challenges and brainstorm on possible solutions.
“Even when farmers put huge capital into the business, it is possible the business swallows it up due to high cost of feed.
“The few input sellers that have it also hoard it, thereby increasing the price.
“The millers will buy it, mill the feed and by the time they finish, the price of feed will go up and it becomes a problem for the poultry farmers,” she said.
Ibitoye said that poultry farmers used locally produced feeds adding that there were many millers but less inputs.
She added that all the feeds used in the sector were locally produced.
“Poultry farmers don’t use imported feeds, only the fish farmers use imported feeds. We have enough millers in Nigeria that can produce feeds.
“We can leverage on that as a country to ensure that they have enough inputs to produce feeds that will meet the demand and as well lower the price.
“We are appealing to the government too assist in the area of inputs, grant and loan,” she said.(NAN)