Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria, (PAN) Ondo State Chapter have cried out over the scarcity of maize and other feed ingredients, that the scarcity has imposed on the poultry business in the country. The association has joined its voice in calling the attention of the federal government and other stakeholders to the serious setback that the industry is facing, that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should lift the ban on forex for the importation of maize as the ban is doing more harm than good to the industry already affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.
The state chairman of PAN, Mr Gideon Oluleye, while speaking during a press conference in Akure, Ondo state capital, said the supply of maize which makes up over 50 per cent of poultry feed ingredients has become very scare while the price of maize has gone overboard beyond the reach of most poultry farmers.
Oluleye, said despite the poultry subsector being one of the main sectors in the agric industry contributing immensely to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and food security in the country, the federal government has paid little or no attention to the sector, that if nothing is done urgently to address the situation, it would add more to the unemployment problem in the country as farmers are closing down while many birds had been lost due to scarcity feeds.
“Poultry business employs millions of people in the country. This sector is under serious threat as a result of the acute shortage of maize in the country. “To worsen this case, recently the CBN also banned the importation of maize. This has further worsened the problem of the poultry farmers in the country to the extent that this sector may soon collapse. “The cost of a ton of maize is now about N210, 000, as against what we bought in February 2020 for N80, 000, this is just too high. No small or medium-scale farmers can survive under this condition.
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“We are now crying to the federal and state governments to assist the farmers by releasing maize to the farmers to cushion the effects of maize scarcity on the poultry sector” He, however, appealed to the federal government to allow farmers import maize into the country as the local production had been drastically reduced due to Insurgency, attack on farmers by herders and banditry challenges in the north.
“We, however, plead with the Federal and state governments to intervene in the production of maize and other input to poultry farmers at a subsidised rate and that the CBN should open an emergency window for farmers to be able to import maize for a short while to supplement this acute shortage in order to save poultry subsector from total collapse.” He added.