By Charles Coffie Gyamfi
Abeokuta — Rising from a three-day ‘Nigeria Poultry Show,’ organised by the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), in Abeokuta, Ogun State, participants have urged government, at all levels to invest heavily in the sector and also create conducive environment for private sector to invest.
The yearly show brings together owners of poultry farms and its allies to discuss challenges confronting the sector and chart a way forward.
This year’s show attracted participants from within and outside Africa, including Germany.
National President of the association, Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim, in his address suggested that the present unfriendly economic situation in the country could be lessened if government could pump more money into poultry farms, instead of focusing only on the oil sector.
He stated that the industry has the potential to drive the country’s economy, both locally and internationally.
Ibrahim, who spoke to farmers, stakeholders and students emphasised that the Nigeria poultry industry stands to be the export hub of poultry products to the West Africa sub-region, noting that what is therefore required is cooperation, commitment and the right funding.
The Association’s Vice National President in the Southwest, Prince Olabode Adetoyi, revealed that Nigerians consume 15 million eggs yearly and urged government to tap into the opportunity.
“If our borders can be effectively monitored, our local Feed Mill will produce over N700b worth of feed, N145b worth of day old chicks and N45b worth of vaccine for the Nigerian market,” he said.
The keynote speaker, Mr. Mukhtar Yakasal disclosed that research revealed that the poultry sector contributes about 25 per cent of Nigeria’s agricultural gross domestic product.
According Yakasal, who is the Managing Director of Grand Cereals Limited, Nigeria is currently rated as the highest producer of eggs in Africa, yet it cannot meet its local need.
Speaking on ‘Repositioning The Nigeria Poultry: Path To Economic Recovery And Growth Plan,’ he said: “Although we have the capacity to produce more eggs, dynamics of the market and inefficiencies in the value chain have placed eggs at prices unaffordable for the average Nigerian.”