Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria (PAN), Kaduna State chapter, has urged the state government to assist its members with credit facility, to enable them meet current market demand.
The state Secretary of the association, Mr Adeniyi Ibrahim, made the call in an interview on Friday in Kaduna, after a meeting of the State Core Delivery Team (CDT) of Agriculture, organised by Synergos Nigeria.
NAN reports that the CDT meets monthly to provide valid information on the activities of key stakeholders in an effort to tackle the challenges facing the agriculture sector.
According to him, the state can replicate the CBN Rice Anchor Borrowers’ Programme to the poultry farmers, so that they can meet the huge gap in the supply of poultry products in the state.
According to him, members of the association are willing to cash in on the ban placed on importation of poultry products and expand their existing level of production, but more than 2,000 of them require financial support to do that.
Ibrahim said that the financial intervention by government would help the members provide the required eggs daily for the ongoing schools feeding programme.
NAN reports that most of the more than 10,000 poultry farmers operating in the state are closing down due largely to financial challenges.
Ibrahim said, “Currently members of the association supply nearly 50,000 crates of eggs weekly, with 20,000 birds which is grossly inadequate to meet the increasing market demand.”
He also identified shortage of power supply as another challenge, as it limits their ability to service a large clientele.
The secretary called for partnership with private investors to establish a one-stop-shop that will enable farmers preserve frozen chicken and control supply.
Such an arrangement would help farmers “to maintain the six circle of production in a year under stable price”, he said.
Earlier during the meeting, Synergos Field manager, Victor Adejoh said the meeting was to mobilise relevant MDAs and farmers to form cooperative groups, for easy access to public and private investments.
According to him, poultry farmers’ cooperative groups could easily key into government programmes including the school feeding programme.
“Gender issues will be addressed in the value-chain as women are more involved in collection of eggs than men and some of the poultry farms are owned by women.
“The huge off-take of eggs to the school feeding programme would make the business more profitable as there is steady market.
“The volume of supply of livestock feed would also increase, thereby crashing the feed price,” Adejoh said.
The NGO also said it expects government to strengthen policies that would create the enabling environment and provide support to farmers in all sectors to perform optimally.
Synergos, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates is currently working in the agriculture sector in Benue, Kogi and Kaduna under the State Partnership in Agriculture (SPA).
NAN reports that the NGO is partnering with state actors to address challenges of low agricultural productivity, climate change, and making agriculture a social service instead of a business.