Poultry farmers in Lagos have lamented the effect of the current egg glut in the state and appealed to the government to mop up the produce.
Some poultry farmers across the state, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the effect of egg glut on the sector, said the situation where the number of eggs in the market or produced is greater than the demand was causing an undesirable accumulation of table eggs in the farms or stores.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mr Godwin Egbebe, said farmers are running at a loss and appealed for government intervention at all levels.
According to him, “Due to the current egg glut, major poultry farms have now dropped their prices and are encountering total loss.
“At large farm gates, a crate of eggs now goes for as low as N1,700 and N1,800 as against N2,000 or N2,100 that was sold just weeks ago. The egg glut is on the increase, the farmers are churning out eggs everyday but there are low demands following the cash crunch in the country.
“With the current volume of eggs, farmers are running at a loss because eggs are disposable perishable items. That is why we are calling on the government to mop up the eggs across our farms and distribute to motherless babies homes, hospitals or even the prisons,” Egbebe said.
The PAN scribe blamed the current egg glut situation on the limited cash in circulation.
“The market women are refusing transfers and some of the mobile bank apps have disappointed time and time again,” he said.
On his part, Mr Mojeed Iyiola, the PAN Lagos state Chairman, said these are trying times for the poultry sector, and called on the government to come to the aid of farmers.
“We have had to drop our prices due to the egg glut, still people do not come for them. Poultry farmers have taken the eggs to the markets, yet demand is low and sales poor. The marketers and middlemen have used this opportunity to collect eggs on credit and still refuse to pay.
“We are appealing to the federal government on this issue, it is a serious case and trying times in the Poultry sector. If this situation persists, our poultry sector will gradually phase off in the nearest future. It is a terrible situation in the sector now,” Iyiola said.
In addition, he said, “As an association, we have spoken to the Lagos state Commissioner for Agriculture to mop up the eggs and even give to the less privileged to help the farmers. Some states in the northern part of the country are doing likewise. A lot of poultry farmers are in dire straits presently, as they do not even have money to buy feed for their birds as the mortality rate increases daily. Poultry farmers are currently facing colossal losses,” he said.
A poultry farmer and processor, Mr Joel Oduware, blamed the Naira scarcity solely for the current egg glut.
“The Naira scarcity has created massive glut in the sector, and the poultry industry has estimated the loss at N30 billion within the cash crunch period.
“The Naira scarcity has negatively impacted the entire poultry sector value chain, causing a huge debt in the poultry sector as there are losses across the value chain. It is a loss the sector would have to bear as we have not received any compensation from the government,” Oduware said.
Another farmer, Mr Emmanuel Iregbeyen, the CEO of Emiraz Farms, said the egg glut is negatively affecting the sector, the painful part being that the cost of feed keeps increasing daily. It is not the best of times for poultry farmers.
“The cash scarcity has really affected the purchasing power of Nigerians and has consequently resulted in the egg glut we are experiencing currently,” Iregbeyen said.