Key players in the Poultry Sector in Nigeria recently held a forum as a prelude to its annual National Poultry Show, with the theme “Sustaining the Poultry Industry in an Economic Recession”.
The event highlighted the inherent potential of the Poultry sector; its growth potentials and ideas to not only sustain the sector but to grow it.
The National President of PAN, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan stated that the Poultry Show takes place yearly to showcase businesses within the Poultry value chain and organised in furtherance of the activities making up the Poultry Industry Calendar, which usually commences with a summit at the start of the year before the event proper.
The event is usually attended by businesses within the Poultry Value Chain including Poultry Farmers, Feed Millers, Egg and Chicken Sellers and also financial and governmental organizations and those involved in transportation within the chain.
The show will also exhibitors from Nigeria, Netherlands, Chine, India, Israel, Spain and England.
Oduntan, emphasized that there is a vast array of employment opportunities lying within the Poultry value chain as he urged government and people to take it seriously to ensure that it is not only sustained but made to grow as Agriculture is truly the future.
On influx of imported poultry products, he stated “We are dying, but with the support of everyone we can be very successful” adding that between N600-N700 billion is being spent to smuggle chicken into the country.
He commended the Nigeria Customs for their efforts in discouraging the trade but said, nevertheless the local production is still far behind in meeting the deficit that will occur when the smuggled chicken consumption, which has been found to contain harmful chemicals, is eventually stopped.
The eradication of imported poultry products will help generate huge income for the country and increase employment to almost 1 million jobs within 2 years, he said.
“If feed millers are receiving raw materials, maize, soya at a high cost then it means that the feed price already isn’t the making of the manufacturer, the entire cost of production will go up”, he observed and therefore pleaded with the government to encourage them.
“The Federal Government should ensure more production of these critical raw materials if it must export them so that there is enough for local industries to manufacture.
This will help re-distribute wealth and create more wealth opportunities for Nigerians as a whole” he said.
Cost of Feed is actually a critical issue as this affects all aspects of the poultry production including eggs and chicken, Oduntan noted.
He disclosed that about 10.3 billion eggs are produced in Nigeria annually, making Nigeria the largest producer of Eggs in Africa but pointed out that when the population is considered, the figure appear not enough.
“We need to produce more, we need to expand the value chain, we need to do more and with the help of the government, passionate farmers, the media and Nigerians at large we will set our future in food production on the right path again” he said.
He then urged relevant government bodies, poultry farmers, traders, supermarkets, distributors, packaging manufacturers, investors, international agriculture bodies and all businesses within the Poultry value chain to make it a date to visit the Poultry Show scheduled to hold in Abeokuta, Ogun state this month.