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Poultry association identifies high cost of feeds, finance, others as threats

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Poultry farmers, feed companies, animal scientists and technologists have identified high cost of feeds and financial facilities, feed contamination, poverty and low purchasing power, inadequate technical know-how among poultry farmers and absence of sustainable value chain development as some of the major challenges causing gluts, reduction of profitability and closure of farms.

These were identified by experts and farmers during the 2019 poultry workshop organised by the Oyo State chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in Ibadan, Oyo State, recently.

Deputy Managing Director of Grand Cereals Ltd, Mr Sanjeev Jain, said apart from fundamental challenges of seasonal volatility of day-old chicks, low feed conversion ratio and the scourge of Avian Influenza, relative higher cost of feeds and veterinary inputs, smuggling of prohibited poultry products, higher interest rates and poor marketing of poultry products are challenges reducing profitability of farmers.

These factors, he said, have been causing job losses, farm closure, shrinking industry and capital flights. “The high rate of smuggling of frozen chickens into the country is continuously resulting in closure of many local poultry farms.

“Financial and cost of funds are challenges faced by farmers, millers, and suppliers to finance working capital, undertake major investments in facility upgrade, research and development and others growth-inducing activities,” Jain said.Lack of technical know-how and capacity development of farmers, Jain added, contributes about 34 per cent to profit reduction and eventual closure of farms, according to a 2017 survey.He also pointed out that bio-security on farms is poorly handled, causing morbidity and mortality of birds, which in turn result in low profit margins, unsustainability of farm operations and closure of business.

A poultry business veteran in the country, Chief Folorunsho Ogunnaike, attributed failures of poultry and agribusinesses to failure in the larger economy which, according to him, had impoverished a majority of Nigerians.Extreme poverty, he said, prevents Nigerians from buying poultry products, apart from uncompetitive production cost of made-in-Nigeria avian products.

Prince Adetoyi Olabode, National Vice-President, Southwest, of PAN, attributed the inability of farmers to sell eggs profitably to insecurity in the north and now spreading to other zones.

“The egg glut of this year is a result of insecurity, most especially in the north-east. Why we are feeling the brunt now is because most of our eggs that goes to the north, Niger Republic, Mali, Central African Republic has been prevented by Boko Haram insurgency. Challenges do not allow all the internal and cross-border trade activities to go on. So, as a result of this, there is no possible way to move eggs across these borders,” he said.

Oyo State chairman of PAN, Mr Gbemisoye Agboola, said efforts were ongoing to collate data of farmers, production capacity, identify challenges and collectively proffer eclectic solutions to the challenges.He called for the support of the members of the association at all levels, saying challenges in the industry were surmountable.


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