As the Christmas season approaches, a growing number of families in Nigeria are considering alternatives to the traditional inclusion of chicken in their festive menus due to the significant surge in prices. Statements from consumers, poultry sellers, and producers all highlight the impact of escalating costs on this shift in holiday dining traditions.
Major markets in Kado, Wuse, Karimo, and Karu reveal that an average chicken is currently fetching prices ranging from ₦15,000 to ₦17,000, contributing to the challenges faced by households during this festive period.
One concerned citizen, Daniel Oniel, a civil servant, expressed his worry over the soaring prices, revealing that he cannot afford to purchase chickens for Christmas. Instead, he has opted for more economical substitutes like fish, meat, or Ponmo. Oniel cited the ongoing devaluation of the naira and the rising cost of living as significant factors diminishing the purchasing power of his take-home pay.
“The economic downturn in Nigeria now means one has to live within his means,” emphasized Abidogun, who also highlighted the upcoming school fees to be paid for his children in January.
loveth Israel, a chicken feed seller, identified the increased prices of feeds as a major contributor to the heightened cost of chickens. She pointed out that the price of maize, a crucial ingredient in feed production, has skyrocketed from ₦300 to ₦800 per ‘Mudu.’
“The price of maize, which is a major ingredient in the production of feeds, has gone from ₦300 to ₦800 per ‘Mudu,'” explained Samuel. She further detailed the specific price hikes of feed products such as Ultima finisher, which has risen from ₦15,000 to ₦17,000, and Topfeeds, now priced at ₦12,900 from ₦10,200.
Poultry farmer Usman Bello added that the increased cost of day-old chicks, essential for poultry production, is another factor contributing to the overall high cost of chicken. “A day-old chick is now ₦1,000,” revealed Bello, highlighting the challenges faced by poultry farmers due to rising prices of maize and other feed production items, leading to a shortage of available fowls for sale.