A farmer under the aegis of Poultry Association of Nigeria, Lagos chapter, has on Monday lauded the Federal Government’s intervention in the poultry sector through its concession on the importation of maize and availability of poultry feed.
Mr Joel Oduware, a poultry farmer and also a member of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, Lagos chapter, gave the commendation during an interview with Newsmen in Lagos.
Oduware stated that the permission granted to some commercial feed millers to import maize into the country has eased the burden of the poultry sector and the availability of feed meal.
“The permission of the Federal Government for commercial producers of poultry feed meal to import maize into the country has helped cushion the challenge of poultry feed availability.
“The shortage of corn and high cost of locally grown maize prompted the decision from the government to give concession to import maize to meet feed meal demands of poultry farmers.
“Presently, the price of poultry feed meal from the commercial feed millers have dropped and is quite stable for local poultry farmers to afford.
“However, the small-scale feed millers and poultry farmers that produce their bird feed themselves have to source their maize on their own and at exorbitant prices too.
“The availability of poultry feed is getting more affordable by the day because our local maize have started drying up in spite of the continuous rainfall and we can produce feed meal from them now.
“By November/December, we will have lots of maize available for preparation of poultry feed because by then, a large quantity of our local maize must have dried up,” he said.
Oduware noted that some challenges are still inherent in the poultry industry due to the increasing cost of production being incurred by famers.
According to him, the procurement of day-old chicks and the increasing foreign exchange rate is having a toll on local farmers.
“Things are looking up in the poultry industry presently as regards feed meal but the cost of day-old chicks is still very high.
“A lot of farms hatcheries are selling day-old chicks at exorbitant prices because the cost of production is still high.
“We used to sell day-old chicks at N200 each but now it goes as much as N550 to N600 each, this price will not make the farmers break even.
“Foreign exchange has also affected cost of production in the average poultry farm because we import some valuable nutrients that the birds need to survive at high exchange rates.
“The importation of drugs, vaccines and other pharmaceutical needs of the poultry birds put a dent on the cost of production.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has also negatively impacted on the production cost of poultry farmers because some farmers have incurred lots of losses during the lockdown period,’’ Oduware said.