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On the Brink: Maize Deficit Threatens the Survival of Nigeria’s Poultry Industry

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, has raised an alarm over the imminent collapse of the country’s poultry industry unless urgent steps are taken to address rising issues.

The association blames the looming crisis on the skyrocketing costs and scarcity of maize, a critical ingredient in poultry feed.

The warning came in a joint statement by PAN’s National President, Chief Sunday Ezeobiora, and the Director General, Onallo Akpa, issued on Monday, July 17, 2023, in Abuja.

According to the association, the current situation has led farmers to shut down their poultry operations as feeding birds and maintaining their businesses is no longer sustainable.

This development, they warn, threatens the future of the Nigerian poultry industry.

“We are aware that the government has declared a state of emergency on food security in the country, but the situation of the poultry industry calls for an urgent intervention to save the industry from total collapse,” the statement read.

PAN emphasized the poultry industry’s pivotal role in agriculture and the potential disaster that its collapse could mean for Nigeria’s protein supply and nutrition security.

The association particularly cited the Nigeria Commodity Exchange, NCX, and the Strategic Maize Reserve (SMR) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for their roles in the current predicament.

“The industry is currently being frustrated by the NCX and the SMR of the CBN. They allocated 40,000 metric tonnes of maize to assist poultry production in the country. In two weeks, they cancelled the allocation and stopped poultry farmers from lifting the maize for reasons best known to them, thereby contributing to the rising cost of the commodity,” the statement added.

PAN urged the NCX and the CBN to release the previously promised 40,000 metric tonnes of maize to salvage the poultry industry from impending disaster.

Additionally, it called on the government to direct the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to release 20,000 metric tonnes of maize from its strategic food reserves to the industry at discounted prices.

“Every effort should be made, and every support should be given to it so that it does not collapse, making the country a dumping ground for all sorts of poultry and poultry products from abroad,” PAN warned.

As one of Nigeria’s most capitalized agricultural sub-sectors, the poultry industry’s health is seen as crucial to achieving the country’s Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, by providing employment and producing affordable home-grown proteins. The current predicament, thus, demands urgent attention.

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