According to a market survey, the price of soybeans, the major ingredient used for poultry feeds, has almost doubled in the last year.
The survey shows that a 100 kilogramme bag of soybeans which used to sell for N12, 000 or N13, 000 last year, has doubled to N24,000 this year. The Worse part o this is that the major source of protein for humans and livestock is not readily available on demand.
The managing director of VD $ S FARM , Folake Aina which also deals with poultry products, explained the serious problem in that sector of the business in an interview .
“Getting Soybeans has not been easy. Every single time we go to buy, the price increases, and the issue is that soybeans and maize constitute about 75 per cent of poultry feeds. They carry the highest rate and are now very expensive. Even to source it is very difficult. The price as of last week was N245 per kg excluding transportation to your location. As of yesterday, it has increased to N290 naira per kg. And this soybean is part of the protein, without it, you won’t have a balanced diet for poultry feed. You can’t short-change this important material else it will short-change you in the production of the poultry, especially since we are rearing for meat and egg.” She said.
The scarcity of this essential commodity which Nigeria happens to be its largest producer, according to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), is fast crippling the poultry sector.
Onallo Akpa, director-general, Poultry Association of Nigeria lamented the scarcity of soybean in the poultry business. He explained that a tonne of soybean which used to sell for N160,000 in October last year has jumped up to almost N300,000 in less than four months.
Managing director of Firm farms, Olusegun Animashawun, said although there are other substitutes like groundnut cake, cotton-seed cake, and palm kernel cake, soybeans are the most preferred because of their high digestibility attribute.
Mr. Dalha, and a soil fertility expert who works with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, added that a lot of farmers producing soybeans are not following a good agronomic practice that was why they tend to have a low yield.
He forecast that the price would keep going up because peasant farmers appear to be the chief producers now and the little they are growing are sold to neighbouring countries.
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