There are indications that this might not be the best of times for Nigerians who have invested heavily on poultry farming.
The farms are growing saturated with their produce and the opportunities for offtakers are diminishing. Investigators dont have to look too far to know why tension is all over many farms and the investors are unsure what fate befalls them.
Majority of the big time farmers in Nigeria depend on contracted supplies to hotels, restraurants, event planners who are into outdoor caterings for big time parties such as weddings, funerals, birthdays, housewarmings and other forms of social engagements.
Investigations reveal that domestic consumptions in all account for about 35 percent of the entire sales figures of big time poultries. These include thousands of crates of eggs and kilogrammes of chicken and others that are consumed daily by families at homes.
These that form 35 per cent of the total consumptions have been unaffected since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. As a matter of fact, the figures for home consumptions increased maginally by about another 5 percent to make it 40 percent since many Nigerians purchased and kept at home while the lockdown lasted.
However, the farmers are groaning under the burden of the remaining 60 percent which has put their businesses under severe strains.
With poor options of storage since such technologies have not been perfected here as such, many farms are now at crossroads over what to do with the gluts.
Complicated is the reality that many of the farmers indeed are under loan obligations to various financial insititutions with some stringent conditions.
"We are indeed in a kind of fix," says AbdulRahman Imam, an Ilorin, Kwara State based farmer.
"I am a supplier at one of the universities here. But since the school authorities sent the students home because of coronavirus, that supply end has been suspended. That translates to no market for my weekly 8,000 crates of eggs," laments Imam.
Surprisingly, the gluts have not made significant difference or reduction in the prices of the poultry produce. A crate of eggs still goes for between 1000 to 1200 in the markets. The prices of chickens still remains the same in most cold room stores visited.
Investigations also indicate that while the lockdown was in force in many parts of the country, the transportation of products to consumers became another problems. There were cases of attacks on vehicles conveying food items by criminals and irate youths who protested lockdown and took advantage of the situations.
Though attempts to speak with the umbrella body of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) had not proved possible as at the time of filing this report, NPO Reports gathered that representations have been made to the government through the Ministry of Agriculture for possible discussions on how the losses of the members could be lightened.