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Poultry Industry in Crisis: Over 30% of Farms Shut Down in Six Months

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The Nigerian poultry industry is grappling with a severe crisis, with over 30% of poultry farms across the country have been forced to shut down in the past six months of 2024.

This alarming statistic paints a grim picture of the sector, which is struggling under the weight of rising operational costs, particularly the ever-increasing price of poultry feed.

Rising Operational Costs Squeeze Profit Margins

According to the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), National Publicity Secretary, Godwin Egbebe, the rising operational costs as a critical factor leading to farm closures. These increased expenses have made it increasingly difficult for poultry farmers to maintain profitability.

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“The price of poultry produce keeps increasing because the price of feed increases every other week,” Egbebe explained.

He further emphasized the rapid escalation in feed costs, stating, “As at two weeks ago, we bought 25kg of feed at N14,300, just this past weekend, it is now N14,800.” This substantial price increase within a short timeframe paints a stark picture of the challenges faced by farmers.

Egbebe further elaborated that earlier this year, a bag of feed cost N12,000, compared to N9,000 last year. This significant year-on-year rise has severely impacted the sector’s viability.

Transportation Costs Add to the Burden

In addition to the rising cost of feed, Egbebe identified transportation as another major obstacle for the industry. The logistics associated with moving poultry produce add another layer of expense, further squeezing profit margins for farmers. This creates a domino effect, ultimately leading to an increase in the price of poultry products for consumers.

Seeking Sustainable Solutions for Poultry Farm

Egbebe, attributed the farm closures to the exorbitant operational costs that have significantly impacted the industry. He emphasized the urgent need for government intervention to address the root causes of the crisis.

“The government needs to know the severity of the situation poultry farmers are facing in the sector,” Egbebe stressed. “The disbursement of palliatives is not alleviating the ills in the sector. We seek sustainable solutions to the problems on the ground.”

Egbebe further highlighted the ineffectiveness of current government support measures, claiming that palliatives often fail to reach legitimate farmers. This lack of targeted support coupled with rising costs is pushing many poultry farmers out of business entirely.

“Most farmers are leaving the sector because they cannot sustain the cost of operating their farms,” Egbebe stated. “Some have sold their cages and some have sold their farms altogether.”

Egbebe emphasized the urgent need for the government to intervene and address the crisis. He called for a shift from temporary solutions like palliatives, towards more sustainable strategies.

“The disbursement of palliatives is not alleviating the ills in the sector, we seek sustainable solutions to the problems on the ground,” he stressed.

Egbebe expressed concern about the ineffectiveness of current measures, suggesting that palliatives often fail to reach legitimate farmers.

“The palliatives most times even end in wrong coffers and not legitimate farmers,” he stated.

Impact on Farmers and Consumers

The closure of numerous poultry farms has significant consequences for both farmers and consumers. Farmers are abandoning the sector due to the unsustainable operational costs, leading to potential job losses and a decline in overall poultry production. Consumers, on the other hand, face the brunt of rising poultry product prices, which can impact their dietary choices and strain household budgets, particularly for those who rely on eggs as an affordable source of protein.

Poultry Farmers Plight

The Poultry Association of Nigeria is calling for immediate government intervention to address the challenges plaguing the industry. Sustainable solutions are needed to tackle the rising cost of feed and transportation, along with ensuring effective support measures reach legitimate farmers. Failure to act swiftly could lead to a further decline in the sector, with potential consequences for food security and the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians involved in the poultry industry.

Read Also: Nigeria PMI: Business Activity Grinds to Halt as Inflation

If You Ask Me

The Nigerian poultry industry faces a critical crossroads. Without immediate action to address the rising operational costs and ensure the effectiveness of government support programs, the industry could face further decline. Collaboration between the government, industry stakeholders, and farmers is crucial to develop sustainable solutions that can revive the sector and ensure its long-term viability. This will require a multi-pronged approach that tackles the root causes of the crisis, including exploring alternative feed sources, improving transportation infrastructure, and streamlining support programs to reach legitimate farmers.

The current situation in the Nigerian poultry industry serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the agricultural sector. By prioritizing sustainable solutions and fostering collaboration, stakeholders can work towards a brighter future for the industry, ensuring the continued production of affordable poultry products for Nigerian consumers.

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