Food scarcity looms in Nigeria as poultry farmers lament maize shortage

Segun Showunmi in Ibadan

The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) South West on Tuesday said that there is possibility of food scarcity in Nigeria if urgent attention is not given to the lingering crisis of availability of grains especially maize and soya which are major feeds to poultry animals.

Penpushing reports that the association lamented that the main reasons for banning importation of maize which was to encourage local production has been diminished because local maize production cannot even meet the local demand for the products, adding that the available maize is inadequate to support the poultry industry through 2021.

The General Secretary of  the association (Southwest), Dr. Olalekan Odunsi while addressing journalists on Tuesday during a press conference held at Press Center, Iyaganku, Ibadan called on Federal and state governments to save their business from total collapse.

Penpushing further reports that, the body called on need by federal governmenty to give approval for importation of Animal Feed Grade of Maize to sustained over 50million layers, 100million broilers, 1million breeders, and other classes of poultry until the next harvest season.

The other demands from the farmers include: enforcement of ban on export of soya both seed and the processed meal, putting much efforts to the cultivation of maize done with rice, and strong collaboration between Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria, Soya Farmers Association of Nigeria and Poultry Association of Nigeria(PAN) to determine her need for proper planning.

Penpushing also reports that Odunsi noted that over 10 million jobs were threatened because it employed over 10 million people directly and indirectly using its wide value chain from farm to field.

“Higher demand for maize in the poultry sector due to the Broiler Anchor Borrower Program of the FGN through CBN/NIRSAL has increased the price of maize from 105000 – 165000 In December, most farmers from small to large were unable to sell their broiler because the cost of production was even higher than what an average Nigerian can afford”,he said

The former Ogun chairperson of Poultry Association of Nigeria(PAN), Mrs Blessing Alawode in her remarks noted that the collapse of poultry industry is also a collapse of maize and soya which may cause scarcity of food in the nation.

Penpushing reports that, she lamented that most policy of government on maize is always on paper which has never manifested on their farms, adding that government should come to their aid by ensuring availability of maize at affordable price or provision of animal feeds that is of the same grade with maize.

The former chairperson, however called on the government to stop paying leap service to agriculture particularly poultry industry, saying that government should approved an emergency intervention grants to poultry farmers across the nation.

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