November 3, 2015

‘Most families can’t afford to eat meals with chicken’

Poultry production

Poutry farm

Poultry farmers decry low patronage in Calabar
Calabar- Some poultry farmers in Calabar have expressed worries over low patronage of their business.

They made this known in separate interviews at their farms in parts of Calabar on Tuesday.

Mr Jeremiah Ekong, whose poultry farm is located at 17 Bassey Ene Street, Calabar, said that the return on investment was not commensurate with the expenditure.

Ekong, who have 368 birds in his farm, said the demand for chicken had drastically reduced as residents were complaining of hardship.

He also attributed the low patronage to scarcity of funds among the people, saying that most families could not afford to eat meals with chicken.

“Poultry business is not an easy one. The process of breeding the chicken to consumption stage is very stressful and the market has been dull in recent times.

“I have not recorded high sales in the last three months, and as a family man, I am beginning to face some challenges at home because sales are low.

“On a good day, I used to sell out 50 to 60 chickens to fast food joints and hotels, but the demand has reduced as I now sell only 15 to 20 chickens per day,’’ he said.

According to him, the broiler specie which is sold at N1,400 is bred for seven weeks before it matures for consumption, while the one bred for three months is sold at N3,000, respectively.

He added that he gives the chicken oxyforafyte, vitalite, embercin and other drugs to prevent them from contacting diseases.

Similarly, Mrs Philomena Okon, whose poultry farm is located at 16 Akai Itu Street, Calabar, said that poultry business was no longer profitable.

Okon, who have 300 birds, said that the price of a bag of vital feed used in feeding the chicken had increased from N3, 800 to N4,500.

She attributed the low patronage to scarcity of money in circulation.

“My poultry business booms during the Christmas period because tourists all over the world come to Calabar during the annual Calabar Carnival.

“We heard that preparations for the carnival are on top gear, we hope to start recording high sales by ending of this month and next month hopefully.

She appealed to Calabar residents to always patronise poultry farmers around them.

The other poultry farmers, who spoke also decried the low patronage and the high cost of breeding the birds.

A buyer, Theresa Johnson, said that she only demand for chicken when she had guest in her hotel.

Johnson added that she orders for large number during festivities such as Christmas, marriage celebration, New Year, and birthday parties.