The average price of chicken feed in Nigeria increased by at least 168% over the last three years, a significant increase highlighting the severity of the country’s recent food inflation.

According to market research by the Centre for Journalism and Innovation Development, the average price of a 25 kilogramme of chicken feed, which is primarily derived from maize, soybean, wheat, and millet, increased from N3600 in 2019 to between N8500 and N10,000 in July 2022. (CJID).

Families pay more for chicken and eggs, which has an impact on the cost on a daily basis. In contrast to N1500 and N2500 in 2018, a broiler is currently sold for between N5500 and N7000, while the price of a crate of eggs increased from N800 to N1800.

Food prices in Nigeria advanced 20.6 per cent in June over the previous year, the quickest pace in 11 months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The headline inflation rate increased to 18.60%, a five-year high.

The Cause
In Nigeria, prices for products and services have skyrocketed due to a number of factors. After the government closed the borders to stop smuggling and increase the production of rice and other necessary foods, inflation grew worse in 2019. But despite high demand, supply was hampered by low local production, which raised prices. The pandemic lockdowns, shortage of foreign cash, insecurity, high fuel prices, and lately, Russia’s war in Ukraine complicated the matter.

Over 200 million people rely on Nigeria’s poultry business, which the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization estimates to be worth $4.2 billion. However, the industry, which makes up nine to ten percent of the GDP, has struggled over the past three years, and many firms have closed shops because of excessive operating costs. Farmers criticize the high cost of feed, and traders bemoan the growing prices of the materials.

What are they saying
According to farmers, one broiler needs about one kilogramme of starting feed from week one to week three. For the next three weeks, they require roughly 3 kg of starter feed, and between weeks seven and eight, a broiler needs 2.5 kg of finisher feed. This comes to 650kg, or 26 bags of feed, which is equal to N247,000 or 100 broilers. It would have cost N93,600 if it were only four years old.

A 25kg bag of feed, according to a chicken feed vendor in Abuja, costs between N8500 and N10,000 depending on the brand.

Developing Risk
Nigeria still has a problem with a lack of grains; therefore, it must import maize and wheat to meet its demands. The prolonged dispute between Russia and Ukraine, which supply the majority of the world’s wheat and other grains, has made matters worse.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that Nigeria produced 12.7 million tonnes of maize in 2021, up from 12.4 million tonnes in 2020. However, despite importing 500,000 metric tonnes of maize over two years, the nation still falls behind.

According to governance and development researcher Sam Amadi, the scenario will significantly impact the nation’s economy.

“A significant food crisis is developing in Nigeria, but the political class is oblivious to it. The economic effects of the increase in food costs, particularly the increase in feed prices, will be an increase in food inflation, an increase in the poverty rate, and starvation on both sides, the expert stated.

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