By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Poultry farmers in Kwara state under the aegis of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) have cried out over the imminent collapse of poultry industry in the country if the federal government fails to urgently address the challenges facing the industry.
Addressing journalists in Ilorin, the state capital, on Tuesday, the State Chairman of the Association, Pastor Adeniyi Solomon Olufemi, lamented that despite that the industry provides millions of jobs for the populace, it has not been given necessary attention and support like other sub sectors of Agriculture by both the federal and Kwara state governments.
He said: “Poultry industry provides millions of jobs for Nigerians ranging from those hawking eggs on the streets to the poultry attendants on the farms, the hatchery workers, veterinary Doctors, to mention but a few involved in the poultry value chains.
“This multi-trillion Naira industry I.e. the poultry sub sector of agriculture is one of the main sectors contributing immensely to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the food security of the poultry.”
The Chairman lamented that maize which is a major component of poultry feeds, constituting about 50 to 70 percent of the chicken feed, sells today at N180 per kg from the previous selling price of N80 per kg, and therefore urged the federal government to immediately lift the ban on importation of maize to cushion the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the industry.
He said: “It is really unfortunate for a ban to be placed on importation of maize at a critical time like this when poultry industry is just striving to crawl out of the strangulating effects of lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic which almost killed the industry with little or no patronage of eggs and chicken which made farmers to bury eggs and chicken as a result of spoilage.
‘Hence bankruptcy has set in for farmers, while small holdings fold up and others down sized their stocks sending farmers to unemployment market.
“If positive action is not taken to reverse the situation at hand, the imminent collapse of multi million Naira poultry industry in Nigeria is inevitable. Consequently, millions of Nigerians will lose their jobs, then how will the poultry farmers be able to pay back to the financing institutions and then how can economic stability and food security be attained?”
State Chairman, Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Saka Shittu and state Chairman, Feedmillers Association, Alhaji Musa Yusuf corroborated what the poultry association chairman said, urging both the federal and Kwara state governments to urgently intervene to safe millions of jobs and the industry from total collapse.
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