Chicken and turkey sellers in Benin are lamenting low patronage, less than 24 hours to Christmas.
Some of the sellers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday, attributed the low sales to their customers’ low purchasing power, as well as the high prices of poultry products.
Patience Aigbodion, a poultry farmer and seller at the Ikpoba Hill market, told NAN that the high cost of poultry feeds resulted in the high prices of chicken and turkey.
“The poultry business is not booming like before. The price of poultry feeds increased drastically during the year and this affected the cost of producing the birds.
“We were buying a bag of poultry feed for N3,600 last year but we bought a bag for between N5,500 and N6,000 this year.
“A middle-sized chicken that sold for N3,500 last year Christmas now sells for between N4,500 to N5,000 while a big-sized chicken that sold for N6,000 last Christmas now sells for between N7,000 and N9,000″, she said.
Another poultry seller in Benin, Hilary Osaro, told NAN that despite the increase in the supply of birds to the market, prices were still on the high side.
“Poultry products are very expensive this season because of the high cost of feeds and the money spent in bringing them to the market.
“Customers are complaining of having no money, but we are optimistic that we will make good sales before Christmas day.
“I started supplying my birds to the market on Monday and sales have been picking up gradually but not as anticipated.
“We believe that the New Year sales will be better because a lot of people celebrate the New Year day unlike Christmas that is celebrated by only Christians,” Osaro said.
Meanwhile, Faith Idehen, a mother of three, told NAN that she decided to buy beef for the celebration as she could not afford a live chicken costing N6,000.
“My children asked me to buy chicken for the Christmas but I will plead with them to make do with the beef because the price of chicken is on the high side,” she said.
NAN reports that a kilogramme of frozen chicken sells for N1,800, a kilogramme of turkey sells for N2,000 while a live turkey goes for between N20,000 and N25,000.