A poultry expert, Mr Emmanuel Iregbeyen, has appealed to the Federal Government to allow a waiver on maize importation to stabilise the crisis in the sector.
Iregbeyen, the proprietor of Emiraz Poultry Consultancy, made the call in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Lagos.
He noted that the unavailability and hike in the price of maize had affected farmers in the sector.
“Of recent it has not been easy for poultry farmers in the country due to the incredible hike in bird feed prices.
“I hope our various poultry associations will urge the government to allow importation of maize to alleviate the problems in the sector.
“If the government will allow importation of maize, it will cushion the problems we face because presently crop farmers cannot meet the demands for maize.
“The government is not allowing importation of maize and the demand for maize is more than the supply so we are fixed at the same spot.
“Our proposal to the government is to allow the importation of maize even if it is for a while to stabilise the poultry sector,” he said.
Iregbeyen noted that the inaccessibility and increased cost of maize had forced the farmers to increase the prices of poultry produce.
According to him, the waiver on importation of maize was the only way out of the predicament facing the poultry sector.
“Lack of access to soya and maize is the major challenge we face in the industry currently, it has reduced our productivity.
“The only way out of this predicament in the poultry sector is for the government to give a waiver in importation of maize for a while.
“A kilogramme of maize that used to sell at N100, now sells at N200 per kilogramme. A tonne of maize that used to sell at N100,000 now sells at N200,000.
“Also soya that used to sell for N150 per kilogramme, now sells for N350. A bag of feed that used to sell for about N2,850 and N3,000 now sells at N5,000, depending on the brand.
“It is not the best of times for poultry farmers at all.
“It has not been easy, local poultry farmers are crying and it is gradually touching the consumers as the cost of poultry produce keeps soaring,” Iregbeyen said.
“A crate of egg at farm price sells between N1,250 and N1,400 depending on the size and outside the smallest size sells for as much as N1,400 upwards.
“I am personally surprised that we are selling eggs at N1,350 in the farm, I can imagine what the middleperson is putting in before it gets to the final consumer.
“It has also affected the prices of chicken, the number of broilers produced yearly has drastically reduced too,” he said.