Poultry farmers under the aegis of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) on Tuesday warned of the possible loss of over five million jobs in the sector due to the various challenges confronting them.
The association listed one of the challenges as the lingering crisis of grains, especially maize and soya beans, and sought the urgent intervention of the government to address the matter.
The South-west General Secretary of the association, Dr. Olalekan Odunsi, at a press conference in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, urged President Muhamadu Buhari and South-west governors to save the industry from an imminent collapse.
He also called on the federal government to approve the importation of animal feed grade of maize to sustain poultry until the next harvest season.
In addition, Odunsi urged the government to enforce a ban on export of soya beans, both seed and the processed meal.
He also appealed to the South-west governors to focus more attention on the cultivation of maize as they have done with rice.
He said: “The poultry industry in the South-west geopolitical zone is over six decades growing consistently and steadily to a population of 30 million, a number representing more than 60 per cent of the national poultry population.
“In investment, this sector is worth over N2 trillion. In job creation, it employs over 10 million people, directly and indirectly, using its wide value chain from farm to field. It is worthy of note that this sector is almost 100 per cent- private driven.
“However, if urgent attention is not given to the lingering crisis of grains, especially maize and soya, we fear that an industry with such enviable statistics may suffer a total collapse.”