Dr Olalekan Odunsi, the South-West General-Secretary, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has called on government to facilitate the importation of animal grade maize and soya meals.
Odunsi made the appeal during a press conference organised by South-West wing of the association in Ibadan.
He said that the importation would save the poultry industry from collapsing.
He said the urgent importation of animal feed grade of maize would sustain the over 50 million layers, 100 million broilers, 1 million breeders and other classes of poultry until the next harvest season.
Odunsi also urged the government in the interim to enforce a ban on export of soya, seed and processed soya bean meal.
He enjoined governors in the region to put as much efforts to the cultivation of maize as they had done with rice.
Odunsi stressed the need for a strong collaboration among maize farmers association of Nigeria, soya bean farmers and PAN.
He said such would determine the PAN’s actual yearly need and to assess the later yield in terms of its need for proper planning.
He said acute scarcity and astronomical prices of soya beans and maize would threaten additional five million poultry jobs in the short term, if the government does not intervene.
“Today, maize is sold for N210, 000/MT in most states of South-West, Soya meal N240, 000/MT.
“Due to the importance of these two items, the price of poultry feed has continuously been on the increase from 2750 to 3000 in April 2020 to 4850 to 5300 now.
“In December, most farmers were unable to sell their broiler because the cost of production was higher than what an average Nigeria can afford.
“Presently, egg is going out of the reach of an average family with ideal price at N1, 300.
“So we really need government’s intervention to save the current 10 million jobs in the poultry value chain of our economy,’’ he said.
Also, PAN Representative in Ogun, Mrs Blessing Alawode said the date given by the CBN for the release of maize in February would be late for farmers.
Alawode stressed that the collapse of the poultry industry could also lead to the collapse of maize and soya industries.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dignitaries at the occasion were representatives of PAN from Southwest zone and Kwara.