President Ezekiel Ibrahim Mam of the Poultry Association of Nigerian (PAN), has implored governors to relax rules that restrict the inter-state distribution of foods across the country while the lockdown related to the coronavirus outbreak lasts.
Amid the catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic, Nigeria is heading towards total lockdown, with markets and, superstores gradually closing operations as states enforce lock downs and prevent intra- and interstate movement.
At a press conference in Maiduguri, the PAN leader boss warned that such a move would lead to devastating impacts on food availability for already stressed Nigerians. It would also negatively affect the poultry industry, which is about the only sustainable livestock subsector in the country.
He said that the government at all levels should ease the current plight of poultry farmers by loosening regulations against the movement for all means of transportation relating to poultry production.
President Mam lamented that the poultry industry might suffer a great defeat if urgent steps are not taken to remove the restraints on movement affecting poultry products like day-old -chicks , meat, eggs, poultry feeds, ingredients and drugs.
He noted that the various state governments’ restrictions would worsen the food and protein supply chain to Nigerians, and at a time no less when ‘food’ is considered among the as very essential needs for human health and survival.
Mam also urged the government to consider a bailout for farmers, especially those trading in livestock, to minimize their losses associated with the Covid-19 outbreaks, noting that such measures are critical to national food security.