Nigerian farmers worry about shrinking margins

The sector is in deepening crisis
calendar icon 16 November 2021
clock icon 3 minute read

Bags of feed in the country have risen from N2,700 to N5,600 in the past 12 months. They have remained high for the past 16 months, reports the Poultry Association of Nigeria.

The cost of maize has risen from N140,000 to N223,000 per metric tonne. In addition, Nigerian poultry farmers have been unable to access vaccines against Avian influenza, which has only deepened the crisis.

Idowu Asenuga, the Ogun State chairperson of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, said he does not foresee a better future for the industry unless government change its policy on vaccines, compensation, and maize and soybeans.

Despite the fact that eggs are the cheapest source of protein in Nigeria, the government does not offer the industry any support, he said.

“Farms that have been affected by avian influenza, government is not protecting them and they are not allowing them to protect their farms by vaccination," said Asenuga. "So, we found it counter-productive and very worrisome and this is affecting the industry, the poultry industry is shrinking and people are losing their jobs."

The PANOG chair said it is difficult to get funding from commercial banks because of the current state of the poultry industry.

Feed has been increasingly difficult to access, and prices for feed continue to rise, forcing some out of the sector altogether. Feed constitutes about 80% of production costs in Nigeria.

The farmers said the first thing government needs to do is to put a waiver on the importation of maize and make forex available for farmers who are willing to import to feed their birds, adding that if there is no import, the price of maize will not be checked.

The association is asking for targeting funding for the poultry sector. Specifically, they want a single digit interest rate, which will make paying the loan back much easier. Borrowing at a 28-30% interest rate is not acceptable, said the association.

The cost of maize has risen from N140,000 to N223,000 per metric tonne.

Melanie Epp

Melanie Epp is a freelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada.

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