BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR.
Poultry Association of Nigeria [PAN] has raised the alarm that the Nigerian poultry industry worth over N1.7trillion is seriously being threatened by poor economy and high cost of feeds.
National President of PAN, Ezekiel Ibrahim Mam, who stated this in Abuja at the weekend on the occasion to mark World Egg Day, said many poultry farmers in the last five years are not able to break even, as a result; many have closed down, due to the present harsh economic realities.
Mam represented by Mr. Onallo Akpa, Director General of PAN, called on the government to create an enabling environment for the poultry industry to thrive so as to save their investments from total collapse.
He noted that the economy of the egg in Nigeria is enormous as an egg per day for 50 per cent of the Nigerian population would produce a daily economic value of N1.7billion.
He also said the annual revenue from egg sales would be N620billion, adding that egg plays indispensable role in the feeding people around the world as they are an excellent, affordable source of high protein.
He stated that poultry industry contributes over 25 per cent to the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product of the economy.
Mam said to achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals, poultry products especially chicken and eggs which contribute 36.5per cent of the protein intake of Nigerians must be taken seriously.
To this end, Mam appealed to the government to as a matter of policy; resuscitate some national programmes that would assist in improving the health of Nigerians using egg as part of the country’s nutritional programme.
National President of PAN therefore called for a nationwide school feeding programme where an egg a day for every Nigerian child as well as making egg as part of the prisons feeding programme.
According to him, “As various Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] research findings have indicated, in the next 40 years, meat and egg production will have to grow by a huge 75 percent to meet the demand for animal protein.
“Therefore, the government needs to give special focus and priority to the poultry industry. Egg is surely the solution as an egg a day for the Nigerian child is a miracle for the future.”