The Feed Industry Practitioner Association of Nigeria has warned that scarcity of eggs, chicken, and other livestock is imminent owing to the rise in the cost of maize and soya beans, which are important for livestock feed production.

FIPAN said Nigerians might begin to depend on eggs, chicken, and other livestock imported at outrageous cost if the Federal Government failed to intervene and release grains from the nation’s reserve to alleviate their plights.

The President, FIPAN, Raymond Isiadinso, while addressing journalists at a media briefing on Wednesday at Ikeja, added that the high cost of eggs, chicken, fish, and other poultry products is a result of scarcity of maize and soya beans.

Noting that the industry contributes 45 per cent to the nation’s labour force, Isiadinso expressed worries that the rate of unemployment may increase if the industry folds up.

He said FIPAN is demanding the immediate stoppage of the exportation of soya bean seed and intervention in the importation of maize for livestock feeds.

He urged the newly appointed Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Abubakar Kyari, to buckle up for the challenges ahead and tackle food insecurity to guarantee food sufficiency across the country.

“The industry we’ve taken time to build is about to collapse. The cost of eggs and meat is going higher due to the current cost of grain which constitutes 80 per cent of the animal feed, and soya which is 25 per cent of the feed. The agriculture GDP is going down because of a shortage of raw materials.  The country needs 18.5 metric tonnes of grains to meet industry requirements, but there’s a shortage of it as we produce only 1.7 metric tonnes of soya.

“A short window should be opened to stakeholders to import grains to augment our daily shortage, as well as create a long-lasting mechanism of two to four years to address the challenges we’re facing.

“We also call on the newly-appointed Minister of Agriculture to address this issue urgently by ensuring the exportation of soya and maize is reduced. We’re confident the President will listen and heed our call,” Isiadinso added.