Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Egg consumers in KT are chuckling to themselves as they buy crates at rock bottom prices. A crate now goes for a mere four hundred Naira. Yes N400 which is a little over three US dollars. With this kind of price these eggs can be sold on the international market. This is the cheapest price you can get anywhere in Nigeria. The same crate however had sold for more than seven hundred Naira during the recent avian flu epidemic. What could be the cause of this big drop?

Well when the price was high the few producers on the ground made super profits and this attracted many to join the poultry business. Among them were many housewives who had collected poverty alleviation loans to raise layers inside their houses. The big players whose birds were completely culled as a result of the avian flu, equally saw the opportunity and prepared themselves for it. Slowly the supply began to ease pressure on the price and we noticed a slide to 600 and then 500. The price stabilised at 500 but quickly nose dived when the biggest chicken farmer intervened. Paki Masha farms is often described as the Coca-Cola of poultry farmers in KT and this is no joke. His farm has more than ten thousand birds that produce tons of eggs every day. The eggs were piling up in the stores as the small producers cornered the market. This situation prompted Paki Masha to slash his price to 400. They made it public through the local TV station KTTV and it was a big relief to consumers. But not so to all the other egg producers in town.
A situation like this ought to have triggered a price war but the other big time producers like Bilya Rimi, Hamisu Gambo etc all decided to sheath their swords. They were said to have sent a delegation to Paki Masha asking for an equal slash on the price of feeds. Their pleadings fell on deaf ears.
Meanwhile the household producers are watching the situation and hoping that something will bring back their profits. As for the consumers, well, we shall continue to consume more eggs while the situation lasts. And also hope for a price war that will push the price to 300, then 200 then 100 then ....who knows?

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