According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), food inflation in Nigeria has risen to 18.37 percent in April, in between increment in the prices of staple food across the country. The rising inflation has also contributed massively to the poultry industry, increasing the cost of poultry feed by about 168 percent, amidst continuous rise in the prices of feed ingredients which are maize and soybean, and increase in the cost of production.
The inflation has also affected the prices of poultry animals and products, for instance, a broiler is now being sold at the rate of N5,000 to N7,000, compared to the rate of N1,500 to N2,500 for which it was being sold in 2018. The price for a crate of egg has also skyrocketed from N800 to N1,800. As a result, experts believe that the aforementioned instances are surges that underline the scale of Nigeria’s food inflation, in the past few years.
The poultry sector contributes 10% to the National GDP.
Market surveys by the Centre for Journalism and Innovation Development (CJID) revealed that 25 kilograms of poultry feed, derived mainly from maize, soybean, wheat, and millet, increased in prices from about N3,600 in 2019 to between N8,500 and N9,000 in July 2022. The inflation of food commodities are as a result of several factors which include the shutting down of borders, in 2019, to stop smuggling and improve rice production; pandemic lockdown; depreciation of naira; insecurity; and high fuel prices.
Commenting on the situation, Ezekiel Ibrahim, the National President of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), stated that the price increase surge of 168 percent surfaced due to challenges faced by poultry farmers across the country. In his words, the Nigerian poultry industry is worth about $4.2 billion, contributing almost 10 percent to the National GDP, and remains the major source of protein for a population of over 200 million people. However, the inflation has made many operators abandoned their businesses, leaving the sector to struggle.
Insecurity and high cost of animal feeds send farmers out of business.
In addition, the PAN President said that the development that is currently going on in the poultry sector of the country concerning hike in prices of animal feeds and cost of production due to shortage of foreign exchange is the reason for the persistent higher price review for approval of a new selling price for a crate of eggs by poultry farmers. This is done in order to prevent the industry from imminent collapse and also to keep members in business.
A poultry farmer, and Chairman of the 2021 Show for South West States, Mr. Olalekan Odunsi, likewise acknowledged the fact that poultry farmers are being confronted by diverse socio-economic challenges, which threaten the industry’s trajectories. He mentioned insecurity, high cost of animal feeds and exchange rates as major reasons why some poultry farmers are no longer in business, thereby bringing a reduction to the number of poultry farmers who produce eggs, chickens, and other products.
Nigerians should get prepared for a hike in poultry products.
Another major impediment to poultry production is foreign exchange. Majority of ingredients used to produce animal feeds such as additives, multivitamin, medicament, and others, are usually imported, while maize and soybean are grown in the country. However the cost of production, it is the duty of poultry farmers to ensure that people get to eat proteins. Considering the challenges faced by the poultry industry, Odunsi told Nigerians to get prepared for a hike in the prices of poultry products.