Poultry farmers in Plateau on Monday decried the increasing rate of egg glut in the state.
Mr John Dasar, the state Chairman of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), made the complaint in Jos when he led other members of the association on a visit to the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Linda Barau.
He moaned that the price of egg had been on the decrease, while that of chicken feeds had been skyrocketing on a daily basis, making poultry farming an unfruitful venture.
He alleged the existence of a cabal in the market setting which was always mopping up eggs directly from farmers at giveaway prices for sales to consumers at exorbitant prices.
Dasar said that the outbreak of bird flu had done enough damage to the poultry industry in the state, adding that the current situation would do more harm to the industry if nothing was done to contain it urgently.
“We are not here to protest; we are not here as rebels but we have come to lodge our complaints with a government which we believe has a listening ears
“We have serious egg glut presently in the state, and if nothing is urgently done, a lot of things will go wrong because some farms are at the verge of collapsing.
“Everybody knows the importance and critical contributions of the poultry industry towards the economic growth of this state and the nation at large.
“It is only Plateau that a crate of egg goes for N700, while a bag of chicken feeds as at today goes for N2,700, making the poultry business largely unprofitable.
“So, we have come to plead with you as a rescue government to help mop these eggs so as to help our farmers bounce back to business,’’ he said.
Dasar noted that the state stood the risk of losing huge revenues if the glut continued, adding that most farms would be forced to close down, thereby increasing the menace of unemployment in the state.
He said that if the association kept mute over the precarious situation, it would not be doing the government any good because the economy of the state would be greatly affected.
Responding, Barau commended the farmers for taking the right step by reporting the issue to government.
“I am aware that over 70 per cent of poultry farmers are put of business because of one challenge or the other.
“But let me assure you that our governor has listening ears and he is also keen about agriculture; so, something will be done immediately to alleviate your sufferings,’’ he said.
The commissioner also assured the farmers that a permanent solution to the problems affecting poultry farming in the state would soon be unveiled.