As this year’s Christmas draws near, most families are likely to celebrate without chicken on their menu.
A cross-section of consumers, poultry sellers, and producers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Thursday, attributed this to rising costs of chicken and production items.
NAN observed in major markets like Ojoo, Dugbe, Mokola, and Iwo Road that an average chicken cost between N15,000 and N17,000.
Civil servant Mr Stephen Abidogun said he couldn’t afford Christmas chicken and had opted for substitutes. “Whatever I can find within my means will be used instead of chicken – fish, meat, or ponmo. There are school fees to be paid for the children in January,” he explained.
Abidogun lamented, “My take-home pay has become meaningless due to the rising cost of living and constant naira devaluation. Salaries have remained stagnant while prices of goods and services have tripled. With the current economic downturn in Nigeria, one has to live within their means.”
Chicken feed seller Mrs. Mariam Samuel also cited escalating feed prices as a contributor to the high chicken cost. “Maize, a major ingredient in feed production, has gone from N300 to N800 per ‘kongo,’” she said. “Ultima Finisher, now at N17,000, was N15,000, while Topfeeds, previously N10,200, is now N12,900.”
Poultry farmer Peter Alabi pointed to the increased price of day-old chicks, the “bedrock of poultry production,” as another factor. “A day-old chick now costs N1,000,” he said. Alabi further stated that rising feed prices contributed to the insufficient supply of chicken for sale.