…Advocates Government Support for Poultry Industry
The Group Managing Director of Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, has urged investors and participants in the agribusiness sector to continuously improve and invest in research and development (R&D) for the growth of innovative products for global competitiveness and food security in the country.
Dr. Oduntan made the assertion at this year’s Nigerian Poultry Show, with the theme “Mitigating the Challenges of the Poultry Industry in Nigeria – Current Perspectives, The Role of Government and the Private Sector’ held from Tuesday 7th to Thursday 9th November 2023, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
For agribusiness to thrive in the country amidst the harsh economic climate, organizations should constantly innovate and strive for improved efficiency.
He identified backward integration by major players in the poultry industry as a sustainable approach to address the substantial surge in the price of grains needed for poultry feed.
Dr. Oduntan emphasized the importance of Research and Development (R&D) in identifying efficient alternatives and substitutes for maize and soybean in feed production, a need that is more pressing than ever. For instance, exploring the utilization of palm kennel shells in cassava grits production can significantly reduce production costs, making it a cost-effective substitute for maize.
Additionally, Dr. Oduntan suggested that government support could play a crucial role in promoting the production of peanuts and cottonseed, offering viable alternatives to soybeans.
While emphasizing the growth of poultry agriculture in the country, Dr. Oduntan said there is a need for government collaboration to effectively address the challenges bedeviling the agribusiness industry, for a more robust and sustainable future.
The immediate Past President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria stated that there should be a partnership in reducing post-harvest loss of grains, particularly maize, and soybean through the provisioning of storage facilities at the State and Federal level.
He also advised the government to concentrate efforts to solve all problems along the value chain of electricity to ease the burden of power generation and promote research for better yield, local manufacturing of vaccines and drugs to limit the impact of foreign exchange on the industry; concentrate investment in providing road infrastructure; and implement a tax policy that aligns national and sub-national governments on taxation and levies to ease business operations.
He said smuggling of chicken meat across the nation’s borders poses serious threats to the growth of the poultry business and should be curtailed by prosecuting smugglers involved in the act, and suggested the implementation of an effective animal disease surveillance system that is technology and data-driven.
According to him, the government should intensive efforts to empower the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Bank of Industry (BOI), and other commercial banks to offer loans to poultry farmers at a single-digit interest rate as well as create monitoring teams to ensure efficiency. This, Dr. Oduntan believes will help a great deal in meeting its objective of food security in Nigeria.
Amo Farm which has made immense contributions to agricultural development in Oyo State, and other parts of the country, is known for its innovation with the Noiler bird, launched in 2014 after several years of R&D through a selective breeding process.
The Noiler bird is a dual-purpose bird that is similar in appearance and taste to the native chicken but is more resistant to field diseases and produces four times more eggs and three times more meat. Also, raising Noiler birds requires minimal knowledge of poultry farming and low start-up costs, as the birds can supplement their diet with farm and kitchen waste.
Amo Farm produces over one million-day-old chicks (comprising of Layer, Broiler, and their own innovation Noiler) a week and plans to increase it by 30 percent yearly, to meet the growing demand for animal protein in Nigeria.
It has positively impacted over 1.3 million rural households with its innovative Noiler bird, with an emphasis on women, and has laid a solid foundation that could be multiplied to spread across the whole of the country, and the rest of Africa.