Vanguard (Lagos)

28 January 2013

Nigeria: Feeds Firm to Mop Up Excess Eggs in Plateau

Jos — Grand Cereal Nig. Ltd, a Jos-based producer of poultry feeds, has promised to mop up excess eggs in Plateau between February and March.

"We shall do that as we have always done every year as part of our corporate social responsibility," Mr Nanscel Gambo, a manager of the company said in Jos on Monday.

Gambo, Assistant Brand Manager in-charge of the poultry feeds in the company, announced the plan at the monthly congress meeting of the Plateau Chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN).

Gambo explained that the mopping up of eggs by the company had become an annual event to check against egg-glut in a bid to help farmers sell off their surplus eggs and make profit.

He added that the measure was to encourage Nigerians to eat eggs as a major source of protein.

"For us to stay in the business of making feeds, poultry farming must be made lucrative through high patronage. If we do not help poultry farmers dispose their surplus eggs, no one will buy our feeds.

"We will mop up the eggs and distribute them to students of primary and secondary schools as well as orphanages. This is as part of our corporate social responsibly, " Gambo said.

Mr. Julius Gusan, the Chairman PAN in Plateau, thanked Grand Cereal for the kind gesture extended to the poultry farmers.

"You have done it before, we are glad you are going to do it again," he said.

Gusan called on other organisations to emulate the steps of the company, adding that such partnership and support would move the economy forward.

He pleaded with the company to first consider PAN registered members before extending the gesture to unregistered farmers to attract farmers to join the association.

He also pleaded that a "reasonable price" be considered during the exercise to enable farmers to make profit and stay in business.

Gusan called on poultry farmers to register with the association to benefit from the gesture and other benefits accruing to members.

Plateau polutry farmers fix price of crate of eggs at N650

More so the Plateau Chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has fixed the price of a crate of eggs at N650 in an effort to ensure profitability in the business.

The association took the decision at its monthly congress in Jos on Monday following threats by middlemen to force down the price of eggs to N550 per crate.

Mr Julius Gusan, the Chairman of the group, explained that the step was necessary if farmers must make profit against the background of increased price of feeds and the activities of middlemen.

"The price of feeds has been on the rise since 2012 without commensurate rise in the price of eggs. This is not good for our farmers who are in the business to make profit.

"To make matters worse, the middlemen have continued to sap dry the efforts of the farmers by determining the price of our eggs to the disadvantage of the farmers and the consumers.

"I want to assure you that PAN is out to change that. As an association whose main objective is to protect the interest of its members, it is our legitimate right to set price for our products.

" I am happy we have achieved that today and henceforth, we will continue to take some level of control over the prices of our products," he said.

Gusan called on all poultry farmers in Plateau to adhere strictly to the resolution and warned that any farmer found selling below the approved price would be sanctioned.

He said that the association was working with the Plateau Ministry of Agriculture in a bid to sustain the industry by ensuring its profitability.

"We are working with the Plateau Ministry of Agriculture to fashion out a way of stabilizing the price of eggs that would be profitable to the farmers and affordable to the consumers.

"The Plateau commissioner for agriculture, Mr Steven Barko, has promised to assist the association by instituting a task force that will sanction any erring farmer, who sells below the benchmark, " he said.

The chairman called on farmers yet to register with the association to do so as their interest would be better protected if they worked as a group.

In his remark, Mr Nanscel Gambo, the Assistant Brand Manager of a feed manufacturing company, acknowledged the continued rise in the price of feeds since 2012.

Gambo attributed the steady rise to the scarcity of raw materials, such as maize, sorghum and soya beans.

He appealed to the farmers to "bear with us" as the company was "doing everything" possible to ensure that the feeds were affordable. (NAN)

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