Inconsistent government policies, lack of foreign exchange and exorbitant exchange rate have continued to affect negatively the fortune of farmers and further development of the Nigerian poultry industry.
The National President, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mr. Ezekiel Ibrahim Mam, disclosed this at the 2018 Aviana Nigeria International Expo held in Ibadan, Oyo State recently, said that part of the problems affecting the industry include lack of total support and near absence of infrastructure coupled with marketing challenges as a result of poor purchasing power of the people.
According to him, the challenges of disease outbreak, especially Avian Influenza (AI), scarcity of raw materials such as maize, soybean and critical inputs have been persistent. He said the poultry industry has never faced challenges like it has done in the last three years.
He added: “While it is not in our character to continue to lament over our challenges, my executives and I engage the government to solve the major problem of the industry. First, we were able to pursue vigorously the payment of the outstanding compensations to all the farmers affected by AI. Between the third week of December 2017 and the second week of February 2018, the sum of N1.86 billion was paid out as compensation by the Federal Government to poultry farmers affected by the AI outbreak.”
He said the association has been engaging the Federal Government in scaling up the school feeding programme in such a way that the component of an “egg per child” at least three times in a week is seriously addressed. If the association is able to address this, it will be a booster to the demand for eggs.
He hinted that, “in the same manner, all efforts are also being made to curtail smuggling of frozen poultry products into the country. The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is constantly being engaged while PAN is very active in the anti-smuggling committee constituted under the Vice President, Pof. Yemi Osinbanjo, to address the problems of poultry products’ smuggling, among others.
In addressing part of the problems of shortage of raw materials, he said the association is assiduously working with the Maize Association of Nigerian (MAAN) to once and for all address the issue of maize and soybean shortages during the 2018 farming seasons.
He noted that PAN has made progress in this area both with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and NIRSAL in partnership with MAAN.