Daily Trust

High cost of chicks dims World Egg Day celebratio­n

- By Vin­cent A Yusuf Business · Agriculture · Industries · Vienna · Austria · Plateau State · Abuja · M5 Industries

This year’s World Egg Day celebratio­n, estab­lished by the In­ter­na­tional Egg Com­mis­sion in Vi­enna, Aus­tria in 1996 and cel­e­brated on every sec­ond Fri­day of Oc­to­ber an­nu­ally, was low keyed. For many poul­try farm­ers, the year 2020 is the worst for them so far.

Many lost their in­vest­ments due to the eco­nomic down­turn caused by COVID-19 as it shut down and crashed mar­ket price to an all-time low. Then the high prices of feeds com­pounded the sad sit­u­a­tion as it forced busi­nesses to go down un­der.

Eggs and day-old-chicks pro­duc­tion to­day has be­come more ex­pen­sive be­cause of the vari­able costs in­volved. Small­holder farm­ers have to con­tend with mak­ing lit­tle in­comes and the con­sumers are pay­ing more.

The cost of day-old broiler chicks and those between one to three weeks has forced many small­holder farm­ers out of busi­ness across the coun­try.

In pe­ri­ods like this, small­holder farm­ers raise broil­ers for sale dur­ing the yule­tide sea­son but this year, the prices of the chicks have gone up by more than 50 per cent.

Many at­tribute the rise in the cost of Day-Old-Chicks (DOC) to the high cost of feeds in the mar­ket, which rose from N2,700 to N4,300. This is in ad­di­tion to the cost of vac­cines, which has also slightly in­creased.

This reporter gath­ered that in Pankshin, Plateau State, the cost of three-week-old broiler chicks is N1,200 per chick as at last Wed­nes­day.

A sim­i­lar report from Ak­wanga, Nasarawa State, in­di­cated that the two weeks broiler chicks go for N950 each while three-weeks-old go for N1,300 each.

In Jos, Mrs Na’omi Julius told this reporter on Satur­day that the DOC sells for N600, two-week-old chick N1000, and three-week-old chick N1300, adding that the prices are likely to con­tinue the up­ward trend as de­mand cur­rently out­weighs sup­ply.

These prices, ac­cord­ing to those who spoke with Daily Trust, are forc­ing many farm­ers to cut the size of their farms or drop pro­duc­tion.

“Last year, I bought 45 three-weeks-old chicks at N650 each. But this year, the price has gone up to N1,250, so I de­cided to buy only 20,” a small­holder farmer, who raises broil­ers to sell dur­ing Christ­mas, Mr Au­gus­tine Ben in Ak­wanga, told Daily Trust.

He said the cost of feeds in the mar­ket was very high so it would be dif­fi­cult to break even af­ter the fi­nal sale, adding “even the vac­cine I bought N800 last year is now N1200.

“A bag of starter feed is now N4,300 for brands like Supreme, Vi­tal feeds and Hy­brid feed whereas the fin­ish­ers is sold for N4,250 per bag,” he also lamented.

In Abuja, small­holder farm­ers like Abubakar Edo, said the prices of DOC and feed this year have left him with no choice but to stop the busi­ness.

“If you buy these birds at the cur­rent price of N1200 for the three-weeks-old, cou­pled with the cost of feed, you can hardly make any profit; in fact you are more likely to suf­fer in vain. How many peo­ple even have the money to buy the chicken at N4,000 or M5,000?” he asked.

Dr Ben Eje Og­baji of Amo Farms ex­plained that the mar­ket for DOC broil­ers is very dy­namic, adding that the price usu­ally fluc­tu­ated, af­fected by forces of de­mand and sup­ply un­like Noiler breed, which is most times, static at N230 per DOC.

He said the farm sold DOC on Mon­days and Thurs­days, adding that “The price was N500 per chick as at last Thurs­day.”

 ??  ?? Day-old broiler chicks
Day-old broiler chicks

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