The feed crisis that engulfed the poultry sector from late last year nearly consumed the sector said to have been providing over six million jobs in the value chain.
Many smallholder farmers across the country folded up because of the high cost of feed with few bigger ones struggling to survive.
The leader of the poultry farmers in the country under the auspices of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Ibrahim Ezekiel Mam, had raised an alarm that unless urgent steps were taken to address the feed crisis, many poultry farmers would have to close up and millions of workers would be again thrown into the labour market.
Stakeholders in the sector believe that factors such as high inflation rate, restricted importation of grains, climate change, interruptions in maize and soybean production have compounded the hurdles of farmers. Insecurity in the grain-producing states, and by extension, in all parts of the country, has worsened the demand-supply gap of inputs such as feed ingredients, product movement and market penetration.
The Farmer-herder crisis has also affected grain production, as population increase intensifies competition for grains between industrial food processors for humans and animal feed producers, constantly pushing prices upward.
During the peak of the crisis, reports flooded the media that a bag of layer mash soybean feed costs about N6,000, while a bag of grower mash soybean feed costs about N5,000, depending on the brand of the feed. Thus, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervened in January by announcing that about 300,000 metric tonnes of maize were ready for supply from strategic anchors under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), many stakeholders believed the gesture would reduce the high price of maize from N155,000 per metric tonne at that time. Daily Trust