By: Bamidele Fashube
The Poultry Association of Nigeria(PAN) has urged the Federal Government (FG) to maintain its ban on importation of frozen poultry products into the country.
It also called for stiffer penalties for violators of the directives to serve as deterrent to others.
The association’s National President Ezekiel Mam, who made the call at a briefing in Abuja, further urged the FG to allow free duty charge on the importation of poultry machines that are not produced locally as against the current practice of putting all agricultural equipment on 5 per cent import duty.
While giving an update on the industry’s current state and the way forward, he stressed the need for the government to peg interest rate on borrowing at a maximum of 3 per cent.
According to him, this became imperative as the Poultry industry is a major player in the agricultural value chain.
He argued that the industry uptakes about 40 per cent of Maize and 60 per cent of Soybeans produced in the country.
“We are also the major off-takers of rice bran, wheat offal, groundnut cake and others and with our continued determination to create awareness and increase the per capita consumption of poultry products of Nigerians by 50 per cent of our current consumption rate, we are set to create a new revolution in the entire agricultural value chains in Nigeria,” while also urging the government to;“enshrine cohesive policy to encourage private sector investments in agriculture by pegging interest rates on borrowing to this sector to a maximum of 3%(three per cent).”
To this end,the poultry farmers called for increase in the percentage and funding to the Ministries of Agriculture at Federal, State and Local Government levels.
“Increase the funding of Agricultural Research Institutes and appoint monitoring and evaluation committees to ensure that targets are set up with deliverables. The M&E should involve the local community, relevant professional bodies,” he said.
Also, the Association sought that the government School Feeding programme which is a deliberate policy to empower our local farmers be handled by Commodity Associations rather than contractors.
“The Poultry Association of Nigeria will most appreciate that all poultry products used in the School Feeding Programme should be purchased from the farmers in the various states through the Association,”he added.