Poultry Industry Supports Nigerian Economy26 June 2013
NIGERIA - The National President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr Ayoola Oduntan, has disclosed that poultry farmers in Nigeria form 25 per cent of the country’s agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Dr Oduntan added that the association and its members constitute 25 per cent of the agricultural GDP of this country, reports ThisDayLive.
During the launch of the 2013 egg logo, award and recognition organised by the Ogun State chapter of the PAN in Abeokuta, he said eggs could help boost the life expectancy of Nigerians.
He revealed that the leadership of the union had constituted ‘egg and chicken board’, which he said was saddled with the responsibility of raising the consciousness of egg consumption among the people. He, therefore, urged participants at the event to inculcate the habit of eggs intake in their wards, saying this would aid both their natural and intellectual growth.
“The business of selling multi-vitamins and tablets for energy and all those other things that people consume daily is a multi-billion naira business. The egg will do all those things and it is a natural product. What we need to do is to let people know the beauty that is contained in an egg.
“So the PAN at the national level has constituted the egg and chicken promotion board. They will be charged with one responsibility and that is to promote the consumption of egg and chicken in Nigeria.
“It is interesting that countries that have the highest egg consumption in the world have among the highest life expectancy. Countries where they are consuming 359-plus eggs per person per year, that is that is an egg a day, the life expectancy in those places is over 80. I think our own life expectancy is about 47 or so,” he added.
However, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Ronke Sokefun, identified harsh production environment and high cost of production inputs as some of the major challenges facing the industry.
Mrs Sokefun, who represented by the ministry’s Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Mamorudeen Mustapha, urged farmers to advance their production capacity, assuring government’s readiness at providing enabling environment.
The state Chairman of the body, Dr Olalekan Odunsi, lamented that the importation of frozen chicken had continued to militating against local farmers from producing up to expected capacity. He also bemoaned high cost of raw materials, which he said, had negatively affected the production cost of farmers.
The chairman advocated controlled imports of maize and soybeans, which were the major raw materials for their production.
He said: “One of the challenges we are facing as an association is the challenge of importation of frozen chicken. That is on the aspect of the broiler meat. The importation is affecting local production so it is not allowing us to produce to our capacity.
“Secondly, it is because of the high cost of raw materials. For example, maize is about 60 per cent of our input into a feed for an animal and in Brazil, maize sells for about N35. In fact, if you have to import from Brazil, it should not be more than N38 landing in Nigeria but the one we are growing here, we are buying for N80 now. So that makes our cost of production to be high.
“One of the major problems we have is production cost and it is directly proportional to the cost of maize and soybean especially. So if government could help us and make sure that all these inputs into our feed comes down. And you know, feed forms 75 to 80 per cent of the input to produce egg or meat. So feed is major and it is exorbitantly high.
“Poultry needs a lot of money. We have challenge of funding because if you are poultry producer here, you are also competing with someone outside. And banks are not releasing their money especially to poultry producers. We want government to help us to mediate in this area”, he added.
ThisDayLive reports that he vowed that the chapter would not relent at educating people on the importance of egg and also eradicate the misconception that people have had about egg.
He added: “The challenge we have is that people are afraid to die and meanwhile it is egg that they need. You know in egg we have a lot of micro-ingredients that are good for good development of the brain. Research have shown that children that are bred their first four years with egg, they tend to be sharper in terms of their intelligence coaching than other students.”ThePoultrySite News Desk