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    Over 600 Poultry farmers risks shotdown over high cost of maize in Delta

    Delta State chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has said that over 600 poultry farms in the state are in the verge of shutting down of operation as a result of scarcity and high cost of maize used in feeding their birds.

    The state chairman PAN, Chief Eric Tomfawei, who raised the alarm, lamented that the cost was above the reach of poultry farmers in the state.

    Read Also: Kano poultry farmers decry 30 percent increase in price of feeds

    Tomfawei, who stated this during a briefing in Asaba, the state capital said the cost of feed rose by over 75% from N225,000 to N405,000 per tonne.

    According to him, “if over 600 poultry farms were allowed to shut down in the current economy in the state, thousands of Delta youths will be jobless.

    “Asides job losses, there would be astronomical increment in birds as well as hunger across Delta and its neigbouring states.

    “Despite the recent increase in maize, farmers in Delta are unable to increase prices because many farmers are already experiencing gluts in egg and broiler production.

    “Relevant government agency should help to release adequate quantities of maize from the Strategic Food Reserve to the poultry industry at discounted rate to address the spiralling cost of maize.

    “There’s also the need for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural to release enough quantity of maize from the Strategic Food Reserves of the Ministry to the Poultry Industry through the Poultry Association of Nigeria at discounted prices to address this situation.”

    Maize is a major component in the formulation of poultry ration and in Delta it is largely unavailable for farmers despite the high cost.

    He warned of youth restiveness in the Niger-Delta due to the hanging spectre of farm closures and the inevitability of youths in the sector being laid off, stressing that “apart from the direct impact on hunger crisis, more youths, who are engaged by the poultry industry, will be thrown back into the labour market with attendant security implication”.

    He alleged that poultry farmers are being frustrated by the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) and the Strategic Maize Reserve (SMR) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by its cancellation of allocations of 40,000 metric tonnes of maize meant to assist poultry farmers.

    Daily Trust

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