Poultry farmers in Niger State have lamented that they are losing layer birds in large numbers due to low patronage as a result of the scarcity of naira notes and poor network to facilitate e-transactions.
An investigation by Daily Trust revealed that many people have also shut down their poultry farms due to charges associated with e-transactions.
The Niger State Secretary of the Poultry Farmers Association, Mohammad Audi Adamu, confirmed to Daily Trust that the demand for poultry products has reduced since the new cash transactions directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The demand for poultry products has drastically reduced due to the cashless policy introduced by the federal government.
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“Also, the demand for eggs and chicken has drastically dropped, particularly eggs. Majority of our customers have stopped buying due to the non-availability of naira notes.
“Many farmers have lost many layer birds due to glut in the egg market.
“Farmers with good financial status are selling on credit to decongest their farms. Many farmers are out of business as a result of low patronage,” he said.
A poultry farmer, Suleiman Isah, told our correspondent that payment for poultry feeds via point of sale came with extra charges which were discouraging many farmers from continuing with the business.
“When you pay for feeds and drugs with cash, it costs less than paying via POS. For instance, a bag of poultry feed is N10,000 when you pay with cash but if you are paying via POS, it is N10,300. There is a brand of feed sold at N9,300 when you pay cash but with POS, it’s N9,700.
“We also use maize to feed our birds, and the prices also vary. With cash, a measure of maize is N280 but if you’re paying via POS or bank transfer, it’s N400 a measure.
“So, many farmers cannot cope because you cannot underestimate the implications of these little charges on a small-scale business,” he said.
He appealed to the federal government and CBN to review the policy and allow cash to flow to save small businesses that are shutting down.