Poultry farmers decry high interest rate, low patronage

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The Poultry Association of Nigeria has expressed concerns over the 27 per cent interest rate available for lending to the agricultural sector, noting that it is not viable for the poultry industry.

The President of the association, Mr. Ayoola Oduntan, stated this during the 2017 Poultry Summit in Lagos.

He explained that the industry already being plagued by the high cost of doing business in the country could not cope with the 27 per cent interest rate from banks.

He called on the Federal Government to review the interest rate downwards.

He said, “High interest rate is still hindering the growth of the poultry sector. I am not aware of anywhere in the world where farmers pay up to 27 per cent as interest rate. If they take such loans, they will end up working for the banks because 27 per cent interest rate is not viable for the industry.”

Oduntan also lamented the low purchasing power of consumers due to the high inflation rate, maintaining that poultry farmers had continued to record low sales in eggs and chickens.

“We have had probably the worst egg glut in the past two decades and the last aggregate we gathered reveals that we have in excess of over N1bn worth of unsold frozen chicken in cold rooms.

“There is a bit of a price war on chicken. We have lived through very tough times.  We have had negative Gross Domestic Product in our pockets for at least two straight years.”

He said the price of maize and soya beans had continued to skyrocket, urging the Federal Government to provide incentives to encourage maize and soya beans farmers to increase production from two tonnes per hectare to the international volume of 10 tonnes per hectare.

Also speaking at the event, the National President of the World Poultry Science Association, Nigeria Branch, Prof. Adeyinka Odunsi, said the Nigerian poultry industry had been facing a lot of challenges due to the economic downturn.

He stated that the summit aimed at deploying the use of science, commerce and favourable government policies to optimise the poultry industry.

He said, “The poultry industry is facing a lot of challenges and it is not insulated from the present economic recession being faced by the country. This is why we are advising the managers of the Nigerian economy to focus on agriculture as a way to get us out of the present economic downturn.

“The Federal Government can help in reviewing interest rates downwards for the industry by providing single-digit interest rates for poultry farmers.”

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