In a dire warning, the Feed Industry Practitioner Association of Nigeria (FIPAN) has raised an urgent alarm regarding the impending scarcity of essential food items such as eggs, chicken, and other livestock.
The association, comprised of feed millers, has attributed this looming crisis to the scarcity and rising costs of crucial ingredients like maize and soya beans, vital for livestock feed production.
As the costs of maize and soya beans continue to surge, FIPAN has cautioned that Nigerians might soon be forced to rely on imported eggs, chicken, and other livestock products at exorbitant prices unless swift intervention takes place. Addressing reporters during a press briefing,
Raymond Isidinaso, President of FIPAN, alongside other executive members, expressed concerns over the surging prices of eggs, chicken, fish, and other poultry items.
This increase is directly linked to the scarcity of maize and soya beans, key components in poultry feed production.
Isidinaso called upon the Federal Government to take immediate action by releasing grains from the national reserve to mitigate the crisis.
The association has also voiced fears over the potential spike in unemployment if the industry collapses, highlighting that it contributes a significant 45% to the nation’s labor force.
Proposing measures to avert the impending food crisis, Isidinaso stressed the need to halt the exportation of soya bean seeds and to intervene in the importation of maize for livestock feed.
He directed his appeal to the newly appointed Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Abubakar Kyari, urging him to take proactive steps to address food insecurity and ensure food sufficiency across the country.
Isidinaso painted a grim picture, stating, “The industry we’ve painstakingly built stands on the brink of collapse.
The escalating cost of eggs and meat is a direct result of the soaring grain prices, which constitute 80% of animal feed, and soya, which contributes 25% to the feed. The agricultural GDP is dwindling due to raw material shortages.”
He further emphasized that the nation requires 18.5 metric tonnes of grains to meet industry demands, but with only 1.7 metric tonnes of soya produced, there’s a substantial shortfall.
FIPAN advocates for a brief window to allow stakeholders to import grains to bridge the gap, and the establishment of a lasting two to four-year mechanism to tackle the ongoing challenges.
Appealing to the newly appointed Minister of Agriculture, Isidinaso called for immediate measures to curtail the exportation of soya and maize. FIPAN’s plea also includes the urgent release of 100,000 to 200,000 metric tons of maize and sorghum from the strategic grain reserves.
Should such volumes be unavailable, they propose creating an avenue for maize importation, setting a precedent to cushion against future shortages.
The looming 2023 grain harvest projection further underscores the severity of the situation. FIPAN’s call for action is resolute, expressing confidence that the government will heed their urgent plea to avert the crisis on the horizon.
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