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Nigeria’s poultry sector on the brink of collapse due to maize shortage

Reports indicate that the Nigerian poultry industry is teetering on the brink of collapse due to a shortage of maize and diminishing purchasing power, which pushed farmers to purchase essential feed ingredients at exorbitant prices when available.

For instance, a 40-year-old poultry farmer from Ede, Western Nigeria, is grappling with the repercussions of grain scarcity.

The shortage has driven up the price of maize, the primary ingredient in feed production, from 200,000 Nigerian naira ($268.64) per metric ton to over 500,000 naira ($671.59).

This substantial increase in costs has left him in a situation where it’s nearly impossible to recover his investment.

This farmer expends approximately 444,000 naira every week to provide for his one-thousand-strong breeder farm.

However, he is faced with the impending risk of running out of funds to purchase more feed, potentially leading to difficulties in meeting his monthly bank loan repayment obligations, which he took out to finance his poultry venture.

For example, in August, he reached out to callfor assistance on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), seeking help to salvage his struggling business. While many sympathized with his plight, only a few individuals offered financial aid.

Threatening food crises

According to the farmer,

  • “Maize has become too expensive, and it is a crisis if you don’t feed your birds today because they will respond tomorrow, it is disturbing that I cannot meet the nutritional requirements.” 

These reports indicate that the combination of maize scarcity and declining purchasing power is pushing Nigeria’s poultry industry perilously close to collapse.

Farmers are compelled to acquire essential feed ingredients at exorbitant rates whenever they are available.

The challenging economic environment has compounded the problem, with farmers incurring increasing debt burdens due to selling their products at prices that do not match their investments, exacerbated by diminishing demand for poultry products.

As a result of these dire circumstances, the financial stability of many poultry farmers is crumbling, leading to the closure of hundreds of operations across the country.

The poultry industry has always played a crucial role in producing eggs, a vital source of affordable protein for millions of Nigerians.

This crisis unfolds against the backdrop of a broader issue, with 25 million Nigerians currently facing food insecurity, underscoring the gravity of the situation according to UNICEF. Experts say it could worsen the number and also impact Nigeria’s ailing economy.

  • “Many people are suffering and with the new development, the situation will get even worse. There will be fewer eggs for consumption which will complicate everything and also add nutritional insecurity,” said Professor Johnson Agbede, a lecturer at the Department of Animal Production of the Federal University of Technology, Akure.


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