Following fuel subsidy removal, the devaluation of the naira, and the attendant negative impact on poultry businesses, poultry farmers across the country, particularly in Lagos State, have called on the government at all levels to urgently intervene to prevent the imminent collapse of the poultry industry.
The farmers, under the aegis of the Erikorodo Poultry Association, made the appeal in a statement signed by its chairman, Juliana Ibitoye.
They appealed to the government to provide palliative support directly to farmers and farmhands within the Erikorodo Poultry Estate.
Speaking on their plight, the association disclosed that most of their members have lost their capital within the past year and are on the verge of imminent total collapse.
They, therefore, appealed for urgent support from the government at all levels to prevent the imminent collapse of the industry.
“This is to draw the attention of the government to the plight of poultry farmers all over the country, and in particular Erikorodo Poultry Estate, Ikorodu, Lagos State.
Over the last couple of months, the prices of poultry feed have increased by over 100 percent. This is as a result of the scarcity of maize, which is a major component of poultry feed production. The devaluation of the naira and the removal of fuel subsidies have also adversely impacted the industry adversely.
“Most poultry farmers have resorted to selling off their birds since they are no longer able to feed them. Some others are selling their farms as there seems to be no hope in sight. Most of our members have lost their capital within the past year and are on the verge of bankruptcy.
“Farms within our estate employ over a thousand staff directly and more than five thousand indirectly, with several thousand also depending on these people for livelihood.
“The closure of these farms will throw many people out of employment, dim the hope of a better life for their families, and adversely affect the food security drive of the government,” the association stated.
Speaking on urgent measures to be put in place by the government to address the plight of the poultry farmers in order to prevent the imminent collapse of the industry, the Erikorodo Poultry Estate Association appealed to the government to provide grants and soft loans to farmers to enable them to resuscitate their businesses.
The association also expressed its support for the establishment of commodity boards to help regulate the price of poultry products.
They also called for the immediate release of maize from the Federal Grains Reserve as well as the removal of restrictions on the importation of maize to enable more players to import maize instead of the near monopoly system that operates at the moment.
The Erikorodo Poultry Estate Association expressed their appreciation to the Lagos State Government for its support over the years, pleading that the government should not allow all the good work it has done so far to go to waste due to the current issues.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; email@example.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)