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Scarcity of eggs hits Niger as poultry farms close down over rising cost of feeds, transport

Niger State is currently experiencing scarcity of eggs following the closure of many poultry farms due to rising cost of feeds. Our correspondent was also…

Niger State is currently experiencing scarcity of eggs following the closure of many poultry farms due to rising cost of feeds.

Our correspondent was also told that supply from the southern states, especially Oyo, had reduced drastically due to the cost of fuel following the removal of fuel subsidy.

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the price of a crate of eggs is currently N2,200 directly from farms instead of N1,800 it was sold before now, while retailers and wholesalers sell to consumers at N2,700 as against the former price of N2,300.

It was gathered that also affecting the production is unfavourable weather condition for poultry farming in the state, causing high mortality of birds as some farms lose no fewer than 300 birds on a daily basis to poor weather condition.

Retailers, wholesalers, as well as consumers, told our correspondent that the cost was not even their major challenge since there were demands, but getting the commodity to buy even in farms was difficult.

A customer, Isah Suleiman, told our correspondent that, “On Wednesday evening, I went round several shops to buy eggs for breakfast but I didn’t get. They said it was even hard to see eggs to buy from farms.”

A wholesaler in Tunga market, Christopher Ukaegbu, said the supply had been very low for the past two weeks.

“Even those bringing for us from Ibadan are no longer coming. We don’t know why. And here, to get from farms is also a serious challenge. Even yesterday, a tea seller came to me begging to give him five crates. But I didn’t have to give him,” he said.

The manager, Safe and Greens Farms, Minna, Mr Adeyemo Adewale, attributed the scarcity and rising cost of eggs in the state in recent weeks to the rising cost of feeds, saying many poultry farms in the state had shut down due to high cost of feeds while supply of eggs from Oyo State, the major supplier to Niger State had stopped due the cost of fuel.

“Recently, a farm of 3,000 capacity of birds shut down in Minna because of the cost of feeds. Many farms like that have closed down. Even those of us still operating are just struggling. The feeds we bought at N8,500 last month are now N9,500 per bag. And the few farms that still operate could not meet the demand for eggs in the market currently because the demand is high. As I speak with you, in my farm, I cannot meet 50 per cent demand for eggs from people coming here. Some people come to my farm as early as 5am to wait for the eggs.

“While many farms have shut down in the state, the supply from the South had also reduced because of the cost of fuel. We also rely heavily on diesel to power our generators. As I speak with you, the price of diesel had moved from N750 to N1, 050 per litre. This also contributed to closure of many farms. On Wednesday, I was supplying eggs to one of my customers in Beji, about 9km from Minna, I saw many people on the road stopping me to buy but I couldn’t sell to them. This shows how scarce eggs are now in Minna in particular,” Adewale said.

Also speaking to Daily Trust on Sunday, Sani Ahmadu, the manager of Nabil Farms, attributed the scarcity of eggs to the cost of feeds and fuel.

He said the current demands for eggs in the state were beyond the capacity of the few farms still operating.

“The demand is very high and we don’t have eggs currently. The presence of youth corps members in the camp has also increased the demand,” he said.

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