Poultry Sector in Nigeria: The Journey So Far


The Nigerian poultry industry is estimated at ₦80 billion ($600 million) and is comprised of approximately 165 million birds, which produced 650,000 MT of eggs and 290,000 MT of poultry meat in 2013. From a market size perspective, Nigeria’s egg production is the largest in Africa (South Africa is the next largest at 540,000 MT of eggs) and it has the 2nd largest chicken population after South Africa’s 200 million birds. Chicken importation (with the exception of day-old-chicks) was banned by Nigeria in 2003, which spurred growth in domestic poultry production. Statistics from Eurostat, however, highlight that between 2009 and 2011 over 3 million MT worth of poultry products were imported into the Republic of Benin, with the preponderance of these products ending up in the Nigerian market. If this is reflected in overall assumptions, estimated poultry meat consumption in Nigeria is approximately 1.2 million MT. This smuggled chicken costs about ₦500- ₦700 ($2.50-$3.50) per kg while locally produced frozen chicken costs between ₦1,000- ₦1,300 ($5 – $6.50) at retail locations, and approximately ₦650 ($3.25) at the farm gate. The price differential between imported and locally produced poultry is driven primarily by the high cost of maize and soybeans in Nigeria, and wide fluctuations in these commodity prices during the year. In 2013 in particular, high maize prices impacted margins of both poultry and animal feed companies, while the 1st Half 2015 has seen the sector squeezed by a combination of high soybean prices (~N150,000/MT in May versus ~N90,000/MT during the same period in 2014) and incidences of Avian Flu. Even with these challenges, analysts have projected a 20% annual growth in the poultry industry between 2010-2020 driven by Nigeria’s large population and rapidly growing middle class. The Nigerian poultry sector is extremely fragmented with most of the chicken raised in ‘backyards’ or on poultry farms with less than 1,000 birds. However, there are a number of large commercial players in the sector most of whom are located in south-western Nigeria, in close proximity to Lagos and its large market of 17.5 million people.  Assessment of the Nigerian Poultry Sector Source An In 2006, Nigeria had its first case of AI in a commercial farm located in Kaduna State. According to the World Organization for Animal Health, the incident caused 227,514 cases and 222,780 deaths from 2006-2007. Also, there was one human case recorded from the incident. Eight years later, in January 2015, the Federal Government confirmed a second outbreak of AI in two commercial poultry farms and a live bird market in Kano and Lagos states, respectively. According to the Poultry Association of Nigeria, as at June 2015, the total number of depopulated birds was 1.4 million belonging to 437 farmers across 18 states. In an effort to contain the resurgence of AI, the Federal Government partnered with United States Agency for Inter-national Development (USAID) to organize training sessions for poultry sector stakeholders on AI, and has collaborated with poultry associations to ensure that increased biosecurity measures are put in place at farms across the country. The Federal Government has also set aside a ₦600 million ($3m) fund as compensation for affected farmers. The Federal Government through the State Governments has also worked to quickly depopulate and quarantine farms affected by AI, and those farms within about 5 km radius. Although this outbreak appears to be more severe than the previous outbreak, poultry sector stakeholders appear adequately prepared and knowledgeable of biosecurity measures this time around. Avian Influenza (AI): Better prepared in 2015 versus 8-years ago? According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “growing populations, economies and incomes are fuelling an ongoing trend towards higher consumption of animal protein in developing countries.” FAO forecasts that Nigerians are expected to consume two thirds more animal protein, with meat consumption rising nearly 73%. This growth in protein consumption will drive demand for maize and soybeans, which form the core component of animal feed. In order for Nigeria’s poultry sector to become a market leader, the challenges mentioned below must be addressed: Source: OECD Data, 2014 Source: Standard Bank, 2014 Poultry meat consumption in 2014 Nigeria’s Estimated Population in 2015 & 2030 Avian influenza (“AI”) is also commonly called bird flu, and is a disease that affects birds all over the world and in more severe cases human beings. Affected birds often show severe depression, sudden drop in egg production, respiratory symptoms and sudden death. According to the World Health Organization, the majority of human cases have occurred through direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry. There is no evidence to show that the disease is spread through cooked poultry. The U.S. is currently experiencing a substantive outbreak that has killed roughly 26 million birds as at May 2015, with most of the loss centered around farms in Iowa.With the renewed outbreak in Plateau state and part of Abuja,the government should hit the ground running through her relevant agencies.

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27 thoughts on “Poultry Sector in Nigeria: The Journey So Far

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