The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has raised alarm over exorbitant cost of birds in the market, as a broiler day chick, which goes for N100 now goes for N400.
The President of the association, Mr Ezekiel Mam who raised the alarm at a news conference to mark the 2019 World Egg Day, said the development was not encouraging for industry players.
He called on hatchery operators and commercial feed millers to be competitive in the pricing of their products for a win win situation, adding that there should be stable price for sustainability of the business.
He decried that rather than catching in on the border closure to expand poultry business to meet market demand, some persons were taking advantage of the development for quick gains, which he said was not healthy for the industry.
He said, “the problem is that people take advantage of the recent development to maximise profit instead of expandig the business.
“Government has helped us to increase demand by closing the borders, so we must desist from taking advantage of the development and look at the long term benefit.
“It is an internal issue within the industry and the association will deal with it.”
On the 2020 budgetary allocation of N83 billion to the agricultural sector for capital projects, the president said it was below expectation.
He said by the virtue of the importance of agriculture to all human endeavours, it should have be allotted the highest amount.
He said developed countries like the US were food sufficient because they put more money into agriculture adding that, Nigeria must emulate them for there to be food sufficiency in the country.
He said,” the budget is below expectation. Agriculture should be given more money because most subsectors like poultry are capital intensive.
“Whatever you do if you do not have food you are vulnerable. So, for us as an association, agric should have the highest budget.
“Soviet Union collapsed because of the lack of food sufficiency, so,whatever we do without feeding our people, we will end up creating security and health concerns.
PAN also called on the Federal Government to make egg part of the country’s nutritional programmes in view of its health benefits.
Mr Mam urged the federal government to as a matter of policy, resuscitate some national programmes that would help ameliorate health challenges faced by Nigerians using egg.
He further urged the federal government to make “An Egg a Day per Nigerian Child” compulsory in primary schools throughout the federation.
He also called on the federal government to make egg part of the Prisons Feeding Programme as well as make eggs and egg products part of the feeding programme of various peace keeping operations.
“We appeal that egg should be made part of our emergency management by making it a priority food product to be supplied to displaced people at various locations or camps through out the country.
“We also want to appeal to the federal government to direct the Nigeria Custom Service(NCS) to reverse current practice of returning all agricultural equipment from zero duty to five per cent arbitrarily. It is disincentive to agriculture, “he said.
Mrs Fitimi Echu, founder of Agrovet and Farms Limited, said that eggs played a vital role in the development of children and lives of adults.
Echu noted that there was need for the Federal Government and other stakeholders to manage the price in the interest of the populace to make it affordable for all.
She also called on stakeholders to create more awareness to encourage people to buy and eat eggs in order to curtail malnutrition.
Dr Boje Egboga, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ojaba Vet, a clinical veterinary company, said an egg remained an essential dietary partner to build protein and repair tissue.
She said it was an essential ingredient for making enzymes and hormone, adding that eating eggs could help the consumer “stay feeling fuller”.
Egboga said eating of eggs could, according to scientific studies, reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 40 per cent and prevent ageing of the skin.