Hatcheries Urged to Factor Mortality Risk into Price of Day Old Chicks
The mortality risks of day old chicks after being sold to farmers, should be factored in as a price determinant in order to reduce and stabilise market price, a poultry farmer Mr Sunday Adejoh has appealed to hatcheries in the country.
Chief Executive Officer of 12 Gates Farm, Adejoh made the plea in Abuja, noting that factors such as zero guarantee of survival of chicks after being bought and stable cost of breeding, should play a role in pricing.
“Day Old Chicks are always selling between N330 to N400 each during festivity with farmers bearing the loss of mortality upon arrival and before maturity.
“Presently, chicks are sold at N350 and we are in early March. So by April we shall be buying between N500 to N600 per chick.
“If the cost of production (electricity, feeds among others) is stable then I don’t believe there should be an increase in price of chick before or after festive periods.
“The most disheartening aspect of this whole issue is that there is no guarantee that the birds will survive till maturity,” he said.
Adfejoh further called on the relevant agencies to check the arbitrary increase of price of DOCs leading to hike in the prices of chickens during major festivals such as Easter.
“The festivity has nothing to do with the hike in price now as the hatcheries determine their price at will without cause.
“Some of these birds come with hatchery related issues, which results in high mortality and nothing is done when you complain. No refund or replacement is made. The farmer bears the loss.
“Further, after going through all these and if a farmer is lucky to manage few birds to maturity then the battle to sell begins,’’ he said.
The farmer noted that the chicken feed was also expensive and so the farmer has to increase the price of his chicken and the masses bear the burden.
According to him, at times the farmer sells at a loss. Eventually, it is translated that the agencies whose function is to act is not doing anything.
“As much as the government is trying to give agriculture a facelift, if things like this continue to happen then we are still back to zero,’’ he said.
Adejoh said that farmers were not supposed to be struggling to sell their farm produce, adding that local products should not be expensive.
“I plead with everyone who has the power to make a change to do something. Farmers are not happy. We are looking up to government at all levels to create conducive environment for farmers.
A panacea to the problem according to Mr Haruna Akeem, Assistant Project Officer, Oyo state Ministry of Agriculture, is for the Nigerian government to set up a price regulatory body on commodities; stressing that until that is done, the problem would remain a perennial one.
“Though, change in price may occur due to sudden change in some factors of production but it should not be as wide as it used to be.
“Pricing is dependent on many factors such as production, packaging and transportation costs.
“This has been a major determinant to retailers. To reduce cost of DOCs efforts toward leveraging these factors are crucial.
“My submission is that, there should be agro-commodities price control unit, starting from the local government level up to the federal level.
An agriculturist, Mr Harry Folami, however called for a subsidy palliative measure to be put in place by the government, before the advent of a price regulatory body.
He stressed the need for a quick government intervention and provision of subsidy, noting that other contingent factors may also contribute to hike in price of agro commodities.