Less privileged parents have raised concerns about the current price of eggs, fueling fear, that the poultry product may soon exit the menu lists of many Nigerians.
The price of eggs has gradually moved from N30 to N100 a piece and N800 to N2,200 a crate within a year with the fear that it could move further, considering the increasing prices of poultry inputs.
Many Nigerian parents are currently left with the option of eggs as the only proteins for their children following their inability to afford beef and fish owing to their high prices.
The increasing banditry and insurgents’ attacks across the country have caused a mismatch in the demand and supply of livestock, thereby causing a high price of beef while the lingering foreign exchange crisis has also stoked the price of fish, taking them beyond the reach of the poor.
Of major concern to parents is the high price of eggs which, due to their richness in protein, is now the only available option to aid the growth of children.
A concerned parent, Taiwo Amuda, a resident of Ogba in Lagos said the benefit of eggs in the growth of children and even as an adult cannot be overemphasized, however, lamented that inflation has affected the intake.
“Not only do eggs help children to grow, but it also helps to support the failing eyesight of our old ones” stated Amuda who noted that this informs why the medics recommended that children between the age of one and seventeen should eat eggs once a day as it helps to repair torn tissues in the body.
Lydia Adesina, a mother of three and an egg seller, however, said egg is now costlier having increased from N60 naira for which it was sold in May last year to between N80 and N100 this year depending on the size. She further explained that the price increase is making it hard for her to make sales, adding that getting her wares was also difficult as the price has doubled.
“We hope that the government will do something about the inputs in the poultry business as soon as possible because an egg is the most important source of protein for our kids”.
Goke Adesina, an egg wholesaler seller in the Ogunjobi area of Fadeyi sells a piece of an egg for N70 and a crate for N1,800, Before now, he sells eggs for N50, N40, and 3 pieces for N100. “I sell the biggest one at #50 before, a small one of N40 could be sold at 3 for N100. These prices have now changed owing to the increase in the price of feeds that chickens consume.
“Last year, we still bought a crate for N1,500, even though some are selling for N2,000, the one I’m selling is lesser because it was brought directly from the farm. So people buying from distributors have a higher rate of price than my own.”
Blessing Onuaha who sells at the Oshodi market says she sells a crate of small-sized eggs for N1,900, the medium-sized is N2,000 while the big sized are N2,200. “The price was not the same last year, but egg dropped slightly, to N70 between March and April. The price increased again because they were selling most of the chicken for Christmas, including the ones that produce eggs, so they had to raise the price to gain. Second, the chicken feed has become prohibitively expensive.”
“So instead of using egg, I buy more meat than egg now because I can’ta*Ford to be at a loss while doing business early last year was a pumping period for me because people requested egg more than meat and I buy it at a very low cost because I buy it almost every day to serve my customers, but it has all changed I go for meat rather than egg now.” She went on.
The rate at which feed sellers sell also has reduced, compared to last year, noted Ayo Olumuyiwa who said that the smallest bag of feed which hitherto sold for N2,900 is now N6,700. He also said that the hike in price was due to an increase in the price of some ingredients used in making the chicken’s food in addition to the scarcity of maize, which is one of the most important ingredients in the feed.
“A whole lot of readjustment needs to be done in the aspect of livestock, I’m a mother and an agriculturist, and I know what is going on in the green market,” a disturbed Bimpe Fashola said.
The rising price of feeds, increasing transportation fares and insecurity in addition to scarce raw materials for feed production have all contributed to the recent rise in the price of egg and chicken feeds in the Nigerian economy.
The raw materials for chicken feeds are corn and maize which are currently not easy to get again, according to a poultry farm owner at Mushin, Idi-Oro road. She cited Top Feed, a popular brand in the market that used to bring in about five vessels of raw materials but currently finds it difficult to import one vessel.
So people who used to import maybe 10, 5 ships now import only one, and by the time they finish production, they may have to raise the price above the initial price,” she said.
Another instance of Animal Care, another top brand in the feeds market which, because of the insecurity problems, could not get maize supply from the northern States owing to farmers’ inability to go to the farm. This creates scarcity of the feeds and also affects the price as supply could not meet the demand.
“The highest price of a bag of feed cost N9,500, and the lowest price is N6,200, indicating an almost 60 per cent increase over last year’s price. The lowest price as of last year was N3, 800. The one I sell for #9, 500 was just introduced to us; it is called Palletise feed. Initially, the highest price of Starter feed was N3, 800 but has now gone up to N8, 200.