Poultry assets stand at N320bn, says PAN

…bemoans high incidence of smuggling of frozen products

About 85 million Nigerians were into some type of family poultry production, constituting an asset base of N320 billion and about 25 per cent to the domestic agriculture output, poultry farmers under the auspices of Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN has said.

The farmers however express regret that smuggling of poultry products into the country resulted in losses of up to N2 billion annually. Speaking with journalists on Tuesday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the Director-General of PAN, Mr Onallo Akpa, lamented that the Federal Government was not providing enough support for the poultry sub-sector, despite its huge contribution to the nation’s economic development of Nigeria.

PAN also accused the Federal Government of neglect of poultry farmers in the country, following their non-inclusion in the ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) programme of the agriculture sector.

While harping on the opportunities and challenges facing the organisation over the years, the PAN DG said the association has, despite the numerous challenges it was grappling with, been able to place Nigeria as the number one egg producing country in Africa, and fourth in broiler meat production in the continent.

He disclosed that Nigeria also currently produces over 553, 000 metric tons of eggs and 708, 000 metric tons of broiler meat on an annual basis, while commercial poultry production currently stands at over N51.2 billion.

According to him, 85 million Nigerians were into some type of family poultry production constituting an asset base of N320 billion, while at the same time, contributes about 25 per cent to the domestic agriculture output.

Insisting that the poultry industry in Nigeria occupies a prominent position as a major source of animal protein to the citizenry, Akpa explained that the advent of democracy in 1999 through to 2002 saw the sector having a new breath of new life, as the then government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo set up the Presidential Committee on Livestock to specifically evaluate the poultry industry and proffer strategies to the pre- Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) era of oil boom.

The PAN DG said, “Currently, Nigeria is rated as number one egg producing nation in Africa and the fourth in broiler meat production outside South Africa and some countries of North Africa, as Nigeria produced 553, 000 metric tons of egg in 2011 and 708 metric tons of broiler meat.

“Over 95 per cent of imported frozen chicken from Benin Republic ends up in Nigeria through smuggling, thereby translating into economic loss of about N1.83billion.” Maintaining that something urgent and drastic needed to be done to put an end to the smuggling of frozen chicken products into the country, particularly though land and sea routes, he added that over three million metric tons of poultry left-overs from Europe were smuggled into Nigeria in three years.

According to him, “Young and old Nigerians consume these unwholesome frozen poultry products that lack the chain of cold preservation process. Many of these smuggled imported poultry products are embalmed with chemicals meant for preserving dead human bodies,” the PAN DG explained

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