The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), South West Zone, has made a heartfelt plea to President Bola Tinubu, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Governors of the Southwest geo-political zone, urging them to take immediate action to prevent the total collapse of the poultry subsector.
Gideon Oluleye, the PAN Chairman for the South West Zone, addressed the critical challenges faced by the association during a press conference in Ibadan. He highlighted how the recent naira redesign had a severe impact on the sector’s viability, leaving farmers struggling to recover. Additionally, the removal of fuel subsidies resulted in skyrocketing input costs, further exacerbating the difficulties for poultry farmers in the country.
Oyekunle Omidokun, PAN Chairman for Oyo State, emphasized the significant contribution of the agricultural sector to the national GDP, averaging around 24 percent and providing millions of job opportunities to Nigerians. He called upon the CBN and the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) to promptly release the maize allocated to the poultry industry and offer supportive schemes to revive the sector.
Speaking at the same press conference, Owolabi Tunde, Chairman of Poultry Farmers Stakeholders of Oyo State, raised serious concerns about the future of the industry. With a current worth of 3.3 trillion naira and contributing 25 percent of the agricultural GDP, the poultry sector creates over 25 million direct and indirect jobs. However, the sector has been grappling with challenges, including losses exceeding 30 billion naira due to the ill-implemented naira re-design and cashless program by the CBN. The scarcity and unavailability of maize, which constitutes a significant portion of poultry feed, have become life-threatening to the industry.
Tunde stressed that the maize production projection for 2022 was estimated at 23 million metric tons, while the annual demand reached 30 million metric tons, leaving a shortfall of seven million metric tons. This deficit urgently requires imports to address the crisis. However, the 2020 ban on maize imports has left Nigerian farmers in a precarious situation.
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To combat the looming collapse and address food security concerns, the PAN suggested some immediate measures. They proposed the utilization of their products in feeding inmates at correctional facilities, IDP centers, and government hospitals. Additionally, they advocated for the appointment of two PAN officials as members of the committee managing the strategic grain reserve.
In conclusion, the poultry sector in Nigeria is facing an imminent collapse, jeopardizing 25 million jobs and posing a threat to the nation’s food security. Urgent intervention from the government, CBN, and relevant authorities is crucial to prevent the devastation of this vital industry and protect the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians.