A pig farmer, Mr Fortune Alabi, said in Lagos on Saturday that the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the breeding and selling of pigs, following the lockdown caused by the disease.
Alabi made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria NAN on Saturday in Lagos, while speaking on trends in the agriculture sector since the coronavirus pandemic set in.
“We have been having issues selling our animals because of the closure of borders to our West African neighbours, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This has really affected us because we spend more on pig feeds, due to the hike in prices as well as poor sales.
“Our pigs are in high demand from our neighbouring countries, especially Benin Republic. Most of the pig farms in Southern Nigeria supply pigs to West African countries.
“Immediately the borders were shut due to COVID-19 it started affecting our sales because people no longer come to patronize us.
“Local pig farmers usually do not source for buyers because we are used to the buyers coming to buy from us in large quantities prior to this period.
“We sell the pigs at lower prices presently but spend more to feed them because demand for pork is currently low.”
Alabi also lamented what he described as low pork consumption by Nigerians, owing to cultural and religious reasons.
According to him, pig farming will boost the pharmaceutical industry if manufacturers start using pigs to make drugs.
He said there was need for a re-orientation on pork consumption because of the high nutritional content and benefits of pigs.
“We need to boost the value-chain of pig farming to increase our returns.
“When our pharmaceutical industry develops, pigs will be in high demand for the production of certain drugs. Unfortunately most local pharmaceutical companies are just into franchise sales of drugs and not production.