2014 E.C. (2021-22 G.C.) has been a rather rough year for those engaged in poultry farming, a newsletter by Precise Consult shows. The main culprit was identified to be the shooting price of poultry feed, of which maize is a primary component and is perhaps key to overcoming the problem.
Poultry feed is made up of 65-70% maize, 25-30% soybean, 3% premix (vitamins and minerals), and other ingredients such as limestone, wheat bran, and other protein cakes. Feed costs account for 70% of poultry production, and these prices are determined by the cost of the necessary raw materials.
The newsletter reveals that 100 kg of poultry feed has gone from around Br.1100 in April 2021 to about Br. 5000 in April 2022, an astounding fourfold rise. This among other minor reasons has resulted in over 15 poultry farms halting their operations, according to the Ethiopian Poultry Producer and Processors Association (EPPPA). Furthermore, the rise in feed prices has pushed up the cost of eggs and chickens. During Easter 2022, the price of chicken increased by 82% over the previous year, while egg prices increased by 50%.
Precise writes that, in addition to improving market linkages and mitigating artificial price increases (in the short run), improving maize farm production through contract farming, cluster farming (expanding existing clusters), and nucleus farming can play a significant role in the ultimate solution.
In 2020, Ethiopia’s Maize yield per hectare was 40 quintals per ha (4 tons per ha), making the country the fourth largest maize-producing country in Africa and the leading producer in Eastern Africa. It is also the second most widely cultivated crop in Ethiopia. But according to data from Global Yield Gap Atlas, Ethiopia has yet to tap into the full potential of this cereal, and in fact, only realizes 26% of the estimated potential.
Besides the above-mentioned short-term solutions and considering alternative feed ingredients, solving the constraints surrounding maize production could reduce feed cost, transform the poultry sector, and lift some of the burden from consumers.
The opinions expresses here in the post "Why Maize Could be Key to Transforming Poultry in Ethiopia" are those of the individua's contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Business Info Ethiopia , BIE Intelligence PLC, its publisher, editor, or any of its other contributors.