COVID-19 Lockdown: “We Need Maize, Either Local Or Imported”, Poultry Farmers Appeal To F.G

 COVID-19 Lockdown: “We Need Maize, Either Local Or Imported”, Poultry Farmers Appeal To F.G

Between March and July this year, many Poultry Farmers have either down sized or folded up because they either cannot get maize to produce feeds or cannot afford to buy finished feeds to feed their chickens.

This, according to the Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Oyo State Chapter, Mr Gbemisoye Agboola, is one of the reasons the Association is calling on the State and Federal Governments to help them rescue the agricultural value chain.

The PAN Chairman, while making the call at a Press Conference held at Oyo State NUJ Hall, Iyaganku, Ibadan, said the industry may lose trillions of naira annually, and not less than a million jobs being threatened, as the industry employs large number of hands because its operations are mostly manually accomplished and large number of workers relatively needed.

Mr Gbemisoye noted that recently, the untold ordeal escalated and nearly unbearable due to unfavourable Government disposition and regulations; adding that the COVID-19 lockdown has sent several farms to early graves while some industries are already on the verge of collapse because the price of maize which was ₦80 per kg in March 2020, has climbed to ₦180 per kg today and still rising.

Lamenting the situation of things with the Poultry Farmers, the State Chairman of Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association, Dr Segun Makanju, said daily money loss is so massive and something has to be done very quickly to salvage the collapse.

Dr Makanju noted that billions of naira worth of birds has gone bad because there has been no sustainance from the Government even as the farmers crawl to grow.

He emphasized that the ban on the importations of maize at this time is wrong, appealing to Federal Government to lift the ban, not for everlasting importation, but to urgument for a period of time to rescue the collapsing industry.

In his speech, the State Chairman of Day-Old Chick Merchants Association of Nigeria (DOCMAN), Alhaji Asimiyu Oyetunde said the scarcity of maize to process food for the birds has greatly affected every aspect of the business, from Day-Old Chick sales to layers’ stage, likewise the cost of table size Broiler and Cockerel has really increased.

He lamented that he has never bought Day-Old layer at the rate of ₦300 since he has been in the industry, but this has been the cost in the last six months.

Other speakers also pleaded with the Federal Government to use this time to release the grain reserved across the country and all available palliatives to cushion the effect of maize scarcity to teeming suffering grass root farmers.

This, they believe, is to allow the essential grain available for feed production; increasing local production to meet up with the demand for maize.

In his address, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Oyo State Chapter, Comrade Demola Babalola, assured the Poultry Farmers of professional delivery of their demands to the State and Federal Government.

Atinúkẹ́ Ṣeun-Ìgè

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