The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) says government at all levels should consider granting some palliatives to Egg, Day Old Chicks (DOCs) and feed producers unable to sell produce due to lockdown measures adopted by governments.
Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim, the President of the association, made the appeal in a statement on Friday in Abuja,.
He said that such palliative would cushion the effect of the lockdown on the producers.
According to him, the input suppliers and other category of farm service providers who are critical to the food security survival of the country should as well be considered in the palliative measures.
Ibrahim identified the poultry industry as the worst hit with lockdown measures taken by various state governments in restricting inter-state transportation to curtail further spread of Coronavirus pandemic.
He added that it had deterred the farmers from marketing their products.
The PAN president further noted that the restrictions on inter-state movement of vehicles by the various states governments would worsen the food and protein supply situation in the country.
This, he maintained, was especially that ‘FOOD’ is considered as very essential items for human health and survival.
He described the situation of the poultry products market as unstable at the moment.
“If urgent steps are not taken to remove the restriction on vehicles conveying such critical poultry like DOCs, meat, eggs, feeds and drugs, daily needed by all Nigerians.
“The poultry industry “which is on the part of becoming the mainstay of the Nigerian livestock industry might be completely destroyed.
“lt is the prayers of the members of the National Executive Council and the entire membership of PAN that government at all levels should consider the plight of poultry farmers at the moment.
“Their considerations should be by relaxing the movement of vehicles regulation for all means of transportation carrying Day-Old-Chicks, Eggs, Poultry feeds.
“This should also affect input and any other production inputs like Maize, Soyabeans and Offals for the continued production of poultry products.
“As poultry is food and therefore should be considered as essential items and services.
“It is important to relax and make flexible the rules that restrict movement of all kinds of vehicles.
“I am appealing to government at all levels to adjust the regulations to allow transports – trucks and buses carrying inbound supplies or outbound products of food, chicken and DOCs and other
products to be allowed to operate to ensure supplies continuity of essential products.
“These trucks must have means of identification to enable law enforcement agencies identify them easily,” Ibrahim said.
The president decried that all the populace were at the moment facing the most difficult period of our national lives with the outbreak of the dreaded Coronavirus.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the wisdom to initiate the policy of producing locally what we eat and consume as a nation.
Ibrahim, however, noted that without such initiative the food security of the country could have been threatened with the complete lockdown of the country as a result of COVID-19 outbreak.
“We should all imagine what the situation could be today if we are to rely on import of basic food items when the major source of our revenue Petroleum Product Price have collapsed and the entire world system in chaos, confusion and disarray.
“As an association of poultry producers, we are fully in support of the Federal Government on all measures taken so far to improve the health and economy of the nation and to curtail further spread of the deadly virus.
“We are in support of the closure of all the airports and the land borders,” he said. (NAN)