The South-West chairman, Rev. Oluleye Gideon, made the plea at a joint news conference in Ibadan, saying that the recent new naira redesign and other government programmes had adversely affected his members.
Gideon said that the CBN’s policy had also brought about untold hardship to the farmers and their investments, as a result of which he said they had lost several billions of naira
The chairman said that the negative impact COVID-19 had on the farmers and their farms has yet to abate, when CBN brought another hardship on them through the naira redesign.
We, the farmers, are not against this policy, but its timing and implementation strategy had brought untold hardship on us.
“A lot of farms have collapsed, others are running at half capacity, while many others will soon close down, if government does not urgently come to the aid of poultry farmers,” he said.
Gideon said that there was need for the government and developmental agencies to save the subsector of the economy from total collapse, which according to him, has been contributing about six per cent of the GDP.
The PAN chairman further urged government at all levels, CBN and all other agencies concern, to rise up and intervene in the subsector of the nation’s economy.
“They should help in mopping up about 15 to 20 million crates of eggs and chicken unsold in the economy right now to ameliorate the losses of the farmers.
“These products should be used in feeding the people in IDPs and all our correctional centres all over the country.
“Some could also be used in the government hospitals where meals are served as eggs helps for quick recovery and in building up immunity of the sick patients,” he said.
Gideon said, as a matter of urgency, government should resuscitate the school feeding programme, adding that eggs and chicken meat form the major component of the programme.
He urged both the Federal and State Governments to subsidise major inputs that the farmers would need to boost their yields.
“We, also want to use this medium to appeal to the international grants and donor agencies like IFAD, NG-Cares, World Bank, Private Financial Advisory Network (PFAN) to come to the aid of poultry farmers in Nigeria and particularly, the South-West zone,” he said.
Gideon said that most of the farmers, who were running on loan, could not meet their loan obligations as a result of the crisis.
“We want CBN and the Federal Government to help in defraying part of the loan and in some cases outright cancellation of the loan.
“This will enable the farmers to recover and save the sector from collapsing. Let the government constitute a committee that will begin the process of mopping up all unsold eggs and chicken,” he said.
According to him, the situation is so bad that a farmer has about a hundred thousand crates of eggs unsold in the farm now, with the market value of over N200 million,” Gideon said.
Also, the Ogun state chairman of PAN, Idowu Asenuga, urged the government to quickly intervene in their predicament to save the industry.
“We have gone to the Minister of Agriculture to appeal to the presidency and see how they can quickly intervene,” Asenuga said.