NIGERIA - Nigeria has 180 million birds which can meet its poultry needs, and has no need for imported poultry or poultry products, the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) has said.
NVRI's Executive Director, Dr Ahmed Mohammed, said that 120 million of the birds were rural poultry in backyards, while 50 million birds were commercial poultry in formal poultry outfits, reported The Pointer.
Nigeria has recently been seeing a lot of frozen foreign poultry products illegally smuggled into the country, where they are sold at a lower price than domestically produced poultry. In response, the country launched Operation Hawk Descend, during which customs officers have seized thousands of packets of illegal poultry.
Nigerian officials have also suggested that the illegal poultry is less safe to eat, because of possible breaks in the cold chain.
Dr Mohammed said that Nigeria did not need imported poultry because more Nigerians were investing in the industry, making the country more self-sufficient.
“Aside from the poultry, we have lots of livestock to complement our meat and protein needs," he added.
“From our latest records, Nigeria has 22 million cattle, 40 million sheep, and 50 million goats. So, the ban on the importation of poultry and poultry products is in order and should be strictly enforced to encourage local production,” he said.
The NVRI boss challenged poultry producers to see the ban as an opportunity to promote self-sufficiency, more local wealth and employment.
Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.