ABEOKUTA – South-West Poultry farmers in Nigeria have appealled to federal government to assist the sector in relaxing the bottlenecks confronting poultry farmers in their bids to access the several intervention funding programmes introduced by the Muhammadu Buhari led administration in Nigeria.
The farmers yesterday converged in Abeokuta to proffer solutions on the enforcement of laws banning importation of poultry products into Nigeria, noting that the industry is under serious internal and external threats.
They explained that growth in the sector would be difficult to achieve unless federal government evolves means towards ensuring strict compliance with the legislation prohibiting importation of poultry products into Nigeria.
Speaking to journalists yesterday at a summit organized by the Ogun State Chapter, Poultry Association of Nigeria, (PANOG), the Ogun State PANOG chairman, Mrs. Blessing Alawode maintained that, the sector has over the years contributed immensely towards reducing unemployment rate in the country as well as contributing to the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the agricultural sector which is the highest contributor to Nigeria’s GDP.
The summit, according to Mrs. Alawode was intended to bring farmers in Ogun, Southwest and Nigeria together to discuss topical issues affecting the industry and also proffer solutions on way forward towards overcoming the challenges affecting the sector.
She appealled to the Ogun state government to relax what it described as multiple taxation of poultry farmers which she said ranges from “Farm Premises Registration, Slaughtering Charge, Haulage Levy, Rearing Revenue from the local governments. Business Premises Permit” among others.
She also appealled to the federal government to review the content of its school feeding programme in such a way that would make handlers comply with the principles of “an egg a day per child” as originally intended in the programme.
While appreciating efforts of the CBN, NIRSAL and others, Alawode also implored South West poultry farmers to take advantage of opportunities in the industry to develop themselves.
“The poultry was at a time, the most preferred Industry in the Agricultural sub sector of Nigeria economy, contributing +/-25 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the agricultural sector which is the highest contributor to the national GDP.
“Poultry employs millions of Nigerians directly and indirectly through its numerous value chains from the Grain, Farms to the supermarket, passing through various distribution channels with each of the channel points deriving its daily income”.
She continued, “We crave your support to bring back one of our old weekly sponsored programs on the medias; it will afford us opportunities to educate/enlighten the public on the good of Poultry product. Also a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria to collaborate with PAN.
“”This came into effect in 2nd quarter of the year; we must convert this into opportunities by engaging those in the medical profession on the subject matter of Poultry with emphasis on Egg given the negative image over the years”.
The Summit had in attendance, representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that of the Nigeria Incentive for Risk Sharing on Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) as well as other major stakeholders in the country’s poultry industry among others.