The Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) revealed that its members have lost more than ₦30 billion worth of eggs as a result of the country’s persistent cash shortage.
Sunday Onallo-Akpa, national president of PFAN, lamented in a statement on Friday that the poultry industry was on the verge of total collapse and extinction.
“The poultry farmers in the country have lost over 15 million crates of eggs being unsold and are damaged,” Onallo-Akpa said.
“The average loss to the poultry industry as at this press release is in excess of over ₦30 billion.”
According to Onallo-Akpa, the poultry industry in Nigeria is one of the most consolidated subsectors of agriculture, contributing approximately 25% of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AGDP) and directly and indirectly employing over 25 million Nigerians.
He stated that the poultry industry has been a major employer of labor as well as a source of financial empowerment and livelihood for many families, particularly women and youths.
“The industry is completely private sector driven and worth over ₦3 trillion,” he said.
According to Onallo-Akpa, the near-absence of naira notes for Nigerians to use in daily transactions has made doing business 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 offtaken 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 president demanded that the federal government intervene immediately to save the industry from impending collapse.
He requested that the government provide direct grants and financial assistance to the industry through the association.
He also urged the federal government to collect the eggs and distribute them to the most vulnerable elderly populations as part of Nigeria’s social investment support.
“Encourage the Armed Forces in various peace keeping operations, the Nigerian Prisons, the Internally Displaced Persons and primary schools (School Feeding Programme) to be immediate offtakers of the eggs,” he said.
Onallo-Akpa requested that the presidency direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Nigeria Armed Forces’ directorate of peacekeeping operations, and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management’s social investment program to collaborate with the association on how to provide immediate relief to poultry farmers across the country.