Illegal Poultry Imports Threaten Local Industry

NIGERIA - The poultry industry is threatened by illegal poultry meat imports, say local producers. A new campaign has been started to highlight the value of eggs in a healthy diet for the human population.
calendar icon 12 November 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

Nigeria poultry industry might go under as the industry is being threatened by smuggled chickens from neighbouring countries, reports Vanguard. Just as the cost of grains have been attributed to the rising cost of poultry products.

Dr Femi Faniyi, President Poultry Association of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter, made this disclosure in a meeting with journalists in Abeokuta on preparation for this year's annual poultry forum and exhibition, billed for next week.

Dr Faniyi said that many of his constituents had gone into poultry production in recent years, so he was well aware of the problem.

He said: "It is of particular importance that they do not face unfair competition from other countries that do not comply with the regulations."

Most of the poultry products that find their ways through the country's boarders pose health hazards to consumers.

He added: "The condition which these products are brought in calls for concern as most of them are hidden in petrol tankers. The business is done in open at Idi-Iroko and Seme boarders among others."

He said if the government wants to boost poultry industry that they should take special interest in the inputs like fertilizers for grains growers, he explained that with adulterated fertilizers, maize and soya, which are basic ingredients of the feeds for poultry will not be available.

Dr Faniyi said: "Right now, the cost of a tonne of maize is about 50,000 naira [NGN] and soya about NGN70,000. Feed is 60 per cent of the cost of our production. We need encouragement to keep us in business."

He noted that poultry business is one business that can help in alleviating poverty in the country and it is one business that can be relied on for the economic values by big time farmers and small holder farmers in the country.

Speaking on funding, he told Vanguard that the interest rate being charged by banks for farmers are outrageous as farmers cannot be made to pay the same interest rate like traders.

"Even the commercial agriculture loan should be five per cent as we cannot borrow at the current nine per cent," he said.

On the theme of this year's celebration, Dr Faniyi disclosed that 'Human Nutrition Security – Egg Option' has been chosen to draw attention to the nutritious value of egg to the society.

Dr Faniyi said the aim is to disabuse the minds of the people about the negative idea that egg consumption causes heart problems. The world over, the lack of evidence to link regular consumption of eggs with heart disease has changed perceptions on egg consumption.

Now, he stated: "The American Heart Association said there is no longer specific recommendation on the number of eggs yolks a person may consume per week and Health Canada made the decision that there was no daily value for a cholesterol intake on their nutrition table.

"In fact, eggs in Canada carry the health check mark of Canada Heart and Stroke Foundation as a health food. In Australia, just about six months ago, the Australian Heart Foundation came out and said all Australians, including those with diabetes and those with metabolic syndrome who follow a healthy balanced diet, could eat up to six eggs each week without these increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease."

Based on these facts, he said Professor Gbenga Olumeyela has been invited to deliver a paper on the topic and that they have also invited students and the elders too, to know that egg contains valuable vitamins and that apart from breast feeding, there is nothing like egg nutrient.

For the exhibition, Dr Faniyi noted that more than 42 companies and invited guests from all over the world have indicated interest to participate, concluded the report in Vanguard.

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