August 3, 2022

 

168% spike in average price of Nigeria's poultry feed for past three years

 

 

The average price of poultry feed in Nigeria rose at least 168% in the last three years, a huge surge that underlines the scale of the country's food inflation in the last few years.

 

On average, 25 kilogrammes of poultry feed, made mainly from maize, soybean, wheat and millet, rose from ₦3,600 (US$8.64) in 2019 to between ₦8,500 (US$20.41) and ₦10,000 (US$24.01) in July 2022, according to market surveys by the Centre for Journalism and Innovation Development (CJID).

 

The cost is felt daily in homes as families pay more for chicken and eggs. A broiler sells for between ₦5,500 (US$13.21) and ₦7,000 (US$16.81) now as against ₦1,500 (US$3.60) and ₦2,500 (US$6) in 2018, while a crate of eggs rose from ₦800 (US$1.92) to ₦1,800 (US$4.32).

 

Food prices in Nigeria accelerated 20.6% in June over the previous year, the fastest pace in 11 months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Headline inflation shot to 18.60%, a five-year high.

 

Prices of goods and services have rocketed in Nigeria stoked by several factors. Inflation worsened in 2019 after the government closed the borders to check smuggling and boost rice production and other essential food production.

 

However, low domestic production slowed supplies amid huge demand, driving prices. The pandemic lockdowns, shortage of foreign currency, insecurity, high fuel prices, and lately, Russia's war in Ukraine complicated the problem.

 

Nigeria's poultry industry, worth $4.2 billion according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, is a major protein source for over 200 million people. But the sector, which contributes 9-10% to GDP, has struggled in the last three years and many operators have abandoned their businesses due to high costs. Farmers lament high feed costs and traders complain about the costs of the constantly rising ingredients.

 

Farmers said they require approximately a kilogramme of starter feed to feed one broiler from week one to three. They need about 3kg of starter feeds for another three weeks, and between week seven and eight, a broiler requires 2.5kg of finisher feed. This totals to 650kg or 26 bags of feed for 100 broilers — equaling to ₦247,000 (US$593.29) in costs. It would have been ₦93,600 (US$224.83) just four years earlier.

 

Nigeria continues to struggle with insufficient amounts of grains and relies on imports for maize and wheat to meet local needs. The ongoing war in Ukraine has made things worse as the two countries are the world's biggest wheat and other grains suppliers.

 

According to data from the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), Nigeria's maize production in 2021 grew from 12.4 million tonnes in 2020 to 12.7 million tonnes. Yet, the country still lags as it imported 500,000 tonnes of maize between two years.

 

- Premium Times

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