Poultry farms across Nigeria are currently facing closures as a result of the continuous rise in maize prices, which is a crucial feed for birds in the industry, according to the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN). PAN has expressed concerns that without immediate intervention from the government, the poultry subsector in Nigeria may collapse.
In a joint statement by PAN’s National President, Sunday Ezeobiora, and Director-General, Onallo Akpa, the association emphasized the escalating cost of maize, leading farmers to shut down their operations. The situation poses a threat to the development of the Nigerian poultry industry.
Furthermore, the soaring price of eggs, a significant source of protein for many Nigerians, has surged by over 118.34% due to a 97.91% decline in maize imports. The National Bureau of Statistics revealed that the price of a medium-sized agric egg increased from N40.84 in May 2020 to N89.17 in May 2023. Meanwhile, maize imports declined from $87.08 million in 2020 to $1.82 million at the end of 2022, according to data from the International Trade Center.
Farmers have reported that maize constitutes 60% to 70% of poultry feed, and the increase in maize costs, resulting from import restrictions, has led to higher egg prices for consumers. The ban on maize imports was implemented in 2020, and domestic production has also been affected by ongoing banditry in the northern regions.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular in 2020 restricting the processing of Forms M for maize importation as part of efforts to boost local production and stimulate economic recovery. However, concessions were later granted to four companies to import 262,000 metric tonnes of maize due to its significance in the poultry industry. Nonetheless, Nigeria still faces a shortfall of 400,000 metric tonnes in maize production.
Farmers attribute the increasing price of eggs to rising feed costs, including maize. The frequent upward adjustments in feed prices, as well as expenses related to medication and transportation, contribute to the overall increase. The scarcity and rising costs of maize, a vital component of poultry feed, have had a significant impact on the poultry industry.
Dr. Azeez Gbadamosi, a farmer, stated that the rising cost of eggs is directly linked to feed prices, which continue to increase weekly. Another farmer and veterinary doctor, Akintade Akintayo, highlighted that maize comprises a significant portion of feed costs, and its expensive nature can be attributed to limited importation and reliance on imported maize for various activities, including human consumption.