The Delta state chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has called on the Federal Government to allow the importation of maize to supplement the current domestic supply deficit.
State Chairman of the Association, Chief Alfred Mrakpor, made the call on Wednesday in Asaba, Delta State.
Mkrakpor lamented the high costs of maize and soybeans which he said are critical components of animal feeds.
He added that the rising costs would erode the merits of the ban on frozen chicken if not put in check.
According to him, local farmers have been unable to meet the demand for maize because of skyrocketing prices.
He also pointed out that invoices and Local Purchase Orders (LPOs) were no longer respected by maize dealers.
He said, “A tonne of maize which used to sell for N97,000 has climbed to N165,000, while soybean has increased from N110,000 per tonne to N123,000 within the last few months.
“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to allow immediate importation of maize into Nigeria since our local maize farmers cannot meet up with the demand required consumers.”
Mrakpor also noted that the rising cost and its resultant scarcity pose a huge threat to the nation’s food security.
He added that the development was not only affecting the maize farmers but also other players in the value chain including the seed producers, chicken, and egg processors, among others.
The chairman also noted that small-scale poultry farms in the state were closing down as a result of the spiraling costs of important ingredients in feed formulation.
This was forcing members of the association to shut down their poultries, further throwing them into poverty, he decried.
He said, “It is heartbreaking to see that small farmers are falling out of business, and by extension, increasing the poverty level. Our members are negatively affected by the galloping price of maize.
“Over the last two years, the local broiler industry has boomed with a positive effect on food sufficiency for Nigeria. This has been largely aided by the ban on imports of frozen chicken.
“We see this great achievement being rolled back if local broiler production is threatened.”
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