By Mustapha Salisu
According to the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in the South West zone, poultry farmers in the region have incurred losses amounting to about N50bn due to disruptions caused by the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Reverend Gideon Oluleye, the Zonal chairman of PAN, expressed concern that the poultry industry may lose about 25 million jobs if the Federal Government fails to intervene urgently to address the challenges.
While Oluleye clarified that the farmers are not against the CBN policy, he noted that the losses associated with its implementation before the Supreme Court judgment had caused considerable damage to the industry.
He stated that the poultry sub-sector, which generates approximately six per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), must be rescued from an impending collapse.
Oluleye appealed to the Federal and state governments to mop up about 15 to 20 million crates of unsold eggs and chickens to alleviate the losses.
He suggested that these products should be used to feed internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps, correctional facilities across the country, and in government hospitals, where eggs help to quicken recovery and build up immunity in sick patients.
He also called for the resuscitation of the school feeding programme, which relies heavily on eggs and chicken meat.
Furthermore, the PAN chairman appealed to the government, including the CBN, to intervene by subsidizing major inputs, particularly maize, as a tonne sells for N240,000, while a tonne of soya beans goes for N450,000.
He also urged the Federal Government to constitute a committee that would begin the process of mopping up all unsold eggs and chickens due to naira redesign policies, as these eggs are already going bad.
Mr. Idowu Asenuga, the chairman of PAN in Ogun State, lamented that poultry farmers in the South West alone suffered N40bn losses due to the sharp fall in poultry product prices, while they incurred N10bn losses from perishable products in their inventories.
Asenuga appealed to international grants and donor agencies such as the International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Bank, and Private Financial Advisory Network (PFAN) to come to the aid of poultry farmers in Nigeria, particularly in the South West region.