By Victor Christopher
Egg scarcity is looming in Kano following the closure of many poultry farms due to the rising cost of feeds in the state.
In the last six months, about 80 percent of poultry farmers in the state have left the business owing to this increasing cost.
A poultry farmer in Turin Wuzurchi in the Kano Municipal Local Government Area, Habib Abdulhadi Habib, is one of the affected agriculturalists.
Habib said he has lost hope in the business leading to his shutting down his poultry farm as he could no longer feed his birds.
Another poultry farmer in Bunkure Local Government, Alhaji Ibrahim Nuhu, recently sold 1,500 of his 6,000 birds to reduce his production cost. He now realizes just 75 crates of eggs against the 125 he used to.
Alhaji Nuhu fears that “eggs will be scarce in the State due to increasing price of feeds unless the government intervenes.”
With over 1,000 registered members, Kano poultry farmers usually produced 10,000 crates of eggs daily.
They barely produce 5,000 crates now, as confirmed by the spokesman of the Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria (PAN) in Kano, Abdullahi Sulaiman Ishaq.
“Before the increase in the price of maize, we produced at least 10,000 crates per day. I know two people who produced 5,000 crates in a day. But the most we produce now is 5,000 crates,” he said.
Hike in Prices of Maize and Feeds
Maize constitutes a large part of the production materials for animal feeds. However, the effect of climate change, worsening insecurity, and local consumption of maize by Nigerians are making the product scarce, hence its hike in price.
A bag of maize at the Dawanau International Grain Market moved from N22,000 at the beginning of the year to over N75,000 in August, and people who buy in bulk now queue to get it.
Kano Eggs Cropped
Expectedly, the development skyrocketed the price of feeds across Kano State. A 25kg bag of feed ranges from N10,000 to N11,000, depending on the brand, as against the initial N6,700, a situation that throws the hapless farmers out of business.
Abbas Yahaya Namai Tuwo, the Managing Director of the feedmaker, Na Maituwo Agrovet, fears that the affected farmers would soon “join the thousands of Nigerians who are currently jobless.”
3,567 Jobs Lost in 2023 -NBS
The National Bureau of Statistics claimed that Nigeria’s unemployment rate dropped from 33.3 percent to 4.1percent and that about 3,567 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector in the first half of 2023 alone.
Also, an NBS report in November 2022 revealed that 133 million Nigerians were multidimensional poor.
The removal of petrol subsidies in the second half of 2023 is believed to have worsened the situation.
Farmers, Retailers, and Wholesalers Increase Egg Price
A crate of eggs bought directly from a farm currently sells for N2,400, instead of the N1,800 it was sold in August. Retailers and wholesalers resell to consumers at N2,700 as against the former price of N2,300.
A trader at Tarauni Market, situated in Tarauni Local Government Area of the State, Biliya Bala says he usually buys 40 to 60 crates daily but has been unable to get a single crate “in the last three days.”
Biliya’s situation is similar to that of Jamilu Ibrahim, a tea vendor at Magajin Rumfa Junction, still in Tarauni LGA. Jamilu revealed that he has unsuccessfully been lobbying to buy eggs for days.
80 Percent of Poultry Farmers in Kano Shut Down Farms
The Kano State chairman of the Poultry Famers Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr. Usman Gwarzo says 80 percent of its members are out of business, thus calling for government intervention.
“Look, we are mostly affected in Kano because 80 percent of our farmers have closed down their businesses, and even those that are still operating are doing so to manage loss.
“Honestly, if things continue like this, I’m afraid we may not be able to provide the needed protein in the State. So, please we need the state government’s intervention,” he pleaded.
An economist, Dr. Abdulsalam Muhammad Kani, suggests that the government should provide soft loans to poultry farmers to put them back on track.
Dr. Kani further suggests that the government should “subsidize the price of maize for the farmers and wave their taxes to put them back on their feet.”