Leaders of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in the Southwestern states on Tuesday stormed Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to express their displeasure over the high cost of maize in the country.
They called on the governors in the region to support maize farming to avoid hunger and save jobs in the country.
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Led by its general secretary, Dr. Olalekan Odunsi, the association said many of its members were in debts while some have closed down their businesses as a result of the high cost of feeds.
Other chairmen at the press conference were; Mr. Godwin Egbebe (Lagos), Mr. Bisi Babalola (Ekiti), Chief Hemi Olukiran (Osun), Mr. Damian Ogunbo, (Ondo), Mrs. Blessing Alawode (Ogun), Mr. Gbemisoye Agboola (Oyo) and Mr. Ojo Akinwunmi (Kwara).
Dr. Odunsi cited shortfall in rainfall, illegal export, herdsmen activities and insecurity challenges as factors affecting farming in the region.
According to him, governors in the region need to put as much efforts in the cultivation of maize as they have done with rice.
The general secretary said that if government refuses to act now, the industry might suffer total collapse soon.
“If urgent attention is not given to the lingering crisis of grains especially maize and Soya, we fear that an industry with such an enviable statistic may suffer a total collapse.
“In July 2020, the price of maize, due to inadequate supply against the huge demand by poultry sector and other users, rose from N105, 000 to N165, 000. In the midst of this hike in price, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced a ban on forex for the importation of maize which further drove the price to as high as N185, 000/ton,” he said.