ABUJA – Some poultry farmers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), yesterday, expressed delight as they recorded high patronage ahead of the Christmas celebration.

The farmers, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said in spite of the economic hardship, the level of patronage was encouraging.

Samuel Magaji, an old layer bird farmer in Gwagwalada, said he had about 3, 000 birds and that sales had been encouraging in the last few days compared to 2017.

Magaji added that due to paucity of funds, he was not able to rear as many birds as he would have wanted.

“I am very impressed with the level of patronage despite the economic hardship in the country, people are still buying.

“If the level of patronage continues, all my birds would have been sold before Christmas.

Magaji said some old layer birds were going for N3,000 and N4,000, depending on size, adding that they were richer in taste than the broiler birds.

However, Mrs Sarah Kaka, a broiler bird farmer in Kuje Area Council, appealed to government to support farmers with soft loans to boost their businesses.

Kaka said poultry farming could promote the Federal Government’s diversification of Nigeria’s economy if supported with soft loans.

According to her, poultry farming was capital intensive, adding that it was expensive to purchase farmland in the FCT as well as other farming inputs.

She said an average sized broiler went for N3, 500, while the bigger ones sold for  between N4,000 and N5,000.

“I am very happy with the level of patronage so far, but due to lack of funds, I was not able to rear many birds.

“Poultry farming in Nigeria is probably one of the most lucrative farming businesses you can do but requires adequate funding to thrive.

“The farmers we presently have are not producing enough poultry products because of inadequate funding.

“The government, especially Ministry of Agriculture should assist farmers with soft loans to enable us boost our business,’’ she urged.

Another poultry farmer in Abaji Area Council, Mr Audu Musa, lamented the increase in the price of feeds, saying that it affected the prices of chicken during Christmas season.

He said he had to increase the price of his chicken during the yuletide to enable him recover his capital and also make a little profit.

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