"Every year, we normally experience glut three times and whenever it happens, it is a huge loss to the farmers".
Mrs Juiiana Ibitoye, Chairperson, Erokorodo Poultry Farm Estate, Ikorodu, a suburb of Lagos, has appealed to the federal and state governments to set up a factory for production of egg powder in the country.
Ibitoye gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
She said the egg powder factory would reduce the huge loss recorded in the value chain due to glut.
Ibitoye said that government could also support farmers by buying off eggs during glut period to reduce the financial burden on them.
She said that cash crunch and the present economic situation in the country had denied many people access to food and other basic needs.
Ibitoye said that many people were not buying eggs due to cash scarcity which led to glut.
She added that the high price of feed contributed to the challenge in the industry.
“Every year, we normally experience glut three times and whenever it happens, it is a huge loss to the farmers.
“We want the government to assist us either by buying the eggs off from the farmers or find a way of converting the egg into powder form as done in developed countries.
“We are still far off in the production of egg powder in the country, there are only about two companies that are into it in Lagos.
“The equipment is very huge and expensive; not everybody can afford it but government can come in and help us,” she said.
The chairperson said the country has the market for egg powder adding that it would be bring development and create more jobs for the youth.
”We are an estate with over 100 farmers, if we can get the support of the government to set up the factory, it will help us a great deal.
“We will can come together, put the eggs together and turn it into powder instead of having glut and losing money.
“We can sell it within Nigeria to confectionaries, bakers and others but we don’t have such facilities,” she noted.
Ibitoye said that some farmers were closing down their farms due to the numerous challenges confronting the sector.
“The price of feed compared to the price of the egg and even the glut at the same time is affecting our business.
“Whenever there is glut, we lose a lot of money, time and energy.
“As I speak now, we are in the glut season; people don’t have cash to buy what they want, the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria is affecting us.
“We will not experience glut if we have the means of turning our eggs into powder.
“We have the market for it, our government is not just focusing in that aspect,” she said.
She said that middlemen were exploiting farmers by selling eggs at exorbitant prices to the consumers.
“A create of egg that is you are buying at a supermarket between N2,800 and N3,000 is coming out of the farm at N2,100.
“We sell eggs at N2,100 farm gate price, this is not adequate for our cost but we don’t want to put too much pressure on the consumers.
“We don’t want to raise the price too high for the masses not to be able to afford it, that is why we pegged it at N2,100 and it is not adequate.
“But between us, the middlemen and the end-users, the prices keep skyrocketing and by the time it gets to the shops and supermarkets, it becomes too expensive.
“The middlemen and retailers are making more money than the farmers, they are exploiting us,” she said.
She urged government to create access to farmers’ market, good roads and transportation to enable them sell directly to consumers at farm gate price.
“If we have access to the market directly, we can produce our product and take it to the market but we must have good roads and transportation.
“Eggs are perishable goods, if they stay too long in our farms, it becomes bad, useless and a loss to us,” she said.