The Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) said its members lost more than N30 billion worth of over 15 million crates of eggs to the lingering cash scarcity in the country. In a statement on Friday, Sunday Onallo-Akpa, national president of PFAN, lamented that the poultry industry was on the verge of total collapse and extermination.
“The poultry farmers in the country have lost over 15 million crates of eggs being unsold and are damaged,” NAN quoted him as saying. “The average loss to the poultry industry as at this press release is in excess of over N30 billion.” Onallo-Akpa described the poultry industry in Nigeria as one of the most consolidated subsectors of agriculture, contributing about 25 percent of the agricultural gross domestic product (AGDP) and employing over 25 million Nigerians directly and indirectly.
He said the poultry industry has been a major employer of labour and a great source of financial empowerment and livelihood for many families, especially women and youths. “The industry is completely private sector driven and worth over N3 trillion,” he said. Onallo-Akpa said the near absence of naira notes for Nigerians to make daily transactions have made businesses in the poultry industry more difficult.
“Eggs being daily produced by poultry farmers since the first week of February 2023 till date have never been off taken by 20% because of the near absence and lack of the naira notes to buy basic food items and other necessary proteins like eggs and chickens,” he said. The PFAN boss called for urgent intervention by the federal government to save the industry from imminent collapse. He asked the government to make available direct grants and financial support to the industry through the association.
He also appealed to the federal government to mop up the eggs through the association for distribution to the most vulnerable old populations as part of the social investment support to Nigerians. “Encourage the Armed Forces in various peacekeeping operations, the Nigerian Prisons, the Internally Displaced Persons and primary schools (School Feeding Programme) to be immediate off-takers of the eggs,” he said. Onallo-Akpa asked the presidency to direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Directorate of Peacekeeping Operations of the Nigeria Armed Forces, and the social investment programme of the ministry of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, to work with the association on how immediate relief can be extended to poultry farmers across the country. NAN