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Nigeria’s poultry sector is facing crisis

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By Usman Oladimeji

Poultry sector is facing challenges in keeping up with the high demand.

The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has raised alarm about the staggering rate of closures among poultry farms in 2023. More than half of these farms shuttered their operations, indicating a dire situation where one out of every two poultry farms in Nigeria had to cease operations. This statistic of 50 percent highlights the significant struggles faced by the poultry industry in the country. These circumstances have led to a concerning situation that is impacting both the economy and public health in a major way. The sector plays a vital role in Nigeria’s economy by creating employment opportunities and ensuring food security.

However, the farm closures in Nigeria have had a negative impact on the economy, causing revenue losses, high unemployment rates, and affecting other related industries. Mojeed Iyiola, President of PAN, revealed that the sector is facing challenges in keeping up with the high demand for its products. This shortage has caused egg prices to skyrocket to an unprecedented ₦3,500 per crate, while the price of chicken per kilogram has risen to ₦3,800. The repercussions of the economic impact are felt not only by farmers, but also by consumers who face the burden of skyrocketing prices.

Holistic approach is required to tackle these complex issues.

Analysts emphasize that the spike in production costs, mainly due to the exorbitant increase in maize prices, which is a vital component in poultry feed, is a major factor fuelling this crisis. The economic burden may exacerbate these difficulties, underscoring the importance of tackling the underlying issues. Additionally, the repercussions of this crisis have far-reaching effects, leading to health consequences. Consumers are at risk of imbalance in nutrition due to the lack of poultry products, particularly eggs, in the country. The scarcity has heightened worries over possible dietary deficiencies among many Nigerians.

Nigerian poultry farmers are facing numerous obstacles that are putting their businesses at risk. Rising production costs, insecurity, and expensive energy bills are just a few of the challenges they are up against. In addition, inadequate infrastructure, limited technology usage, and lack of government assistance are further limiting the industry’s growth. It is clear that a holistic approach is required to tackle these complex issues and find sustainable solutions for the sector. Most importantly, it is crucial to prioritize reducing expenses related to manufacturing.

Investing in infrastructure can boost the quality of products.

Encouraging local production of feed ingredients and utilizing renewable energy sources can help achieve this goal. Through government incentives and subsidies, domestic feed input production can be boosted, decreasing the need for imports. Additionally, strict biosecurity measures must be put in place to effectively prevent and manage disease outbreaks. Improving veterinary services and creating disease-free areas are effective strategies for controlling the transmission of infectious diseases. Additionally, investing in updated infrastructure like advanced processing plants can boost effectiveness and the quality of products.

Moreover, by encouraging the use of advanced technology like automated feeding systems and data analysis for tracking health and efficiency, the industry can boost productivity and stay competitive. In addition, providing training programs and outreach services can assist small-scale poultry farmers in implementing optimal methods and increasing productivity. It is crucial for government policies to be consistent and specific in order to create a favourable setting for the farmers. This involves guaranteeing affordable credit availability, easing market entry via trade deals and tariff regulations, and enforcing actions to prevent unjust competition from low-cost imports.

Related Article: Poultry farmers beg FG to save sector

Experts perceived that investing in research and development is essential for discovering new and creative ways to tackle the obstacles that the industry is currently encountering. This serves as a rallying cry for policymakers, industry stakeholders, and the general public to unite in tackling both the urgent problems and strengthening the base of a resilient and thriving poultry sector in Nigeria. Reviving the industry and protecting the nation’s well-being relies on continuous government interventions, creative problem-solving, and working together collaboratively to tackle the underlying issues.

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