Poultry stakeholders have proposed an integrated food safety management system that will beef-up production processes to increase local production and export potential.
They made the proposal at the 2019 Poultry Association of Nigeria Lagos State (PANLAG) Poultry Industry Intervention tagged: ‘Impact of Poultry Industry on Food Security and Employment’, in Lagos on Tuesday.
Prof. Eustace Iyayi, the Registrar, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, in a keynote address, said that production of chickens and eggs which were the cheapest form of animal protein was endowed with vast opportunities locally and internationally.
Iyayi said: “If Nigeria must key into these vast opportunities, we need to beef up production processes to meet up to international standard via integrated food safety management system from farm to table.
“Otherwise, we will be trapped in the trade banks with our products being grossly under-priced and we must be open to regulatory adjustments with the ultimate goal of sustaining the framework.
“We could also adopt the backward integration system through mechanised maize and soya production, ploughed back to the production of poultry products to ensure low production cost of poultry birds.’’
Iyayi also said that consumption of poultry meat and egg was still very low in Nigeria.
The registrar called for an urgent solution to the high cost of inputs.
The Chairman, PANLAG, Mr Godwin Egbebe, said that the annual programme was to accord farmers the opportunity to liaise with government and other stakeholders in the sector on standards to be adhered to.
“To be able to produce wholesome products for local consumption and to meet export market standards,’’Egbebe said.
He said that the border closure was what propelled the topic as there was a huge gap in the sector that had before now experienced influx of unwholesome smuggled chickens and turkeys.
He also said: “If all stakeholders in the poultry value chain play their part sincerely, food security will be guaranteed and our youths will be gainfully employed because we have the capacity.”
Egbebe appealed to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to start the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) in the state to allow farmers and children benefit from the Federal Government initiative.
The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Babatunde Salau, urged commercial banks to assist poultry farmers with affordable credits.
Salau said lack of access to credit had posed a huge challenge to farmers in the sub-sector, because the growing population and government’s initiatives required more entrants to the poultry business.
Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the State Project Coordinator of the Federal Government and World Bank APPEALS project, said that there were opportunities embedded in the poultry industry.
Sagoe-Oviebo said that Nigeria needed to go back to cultivating maize and utilising uncultivated lands to bring down the cost of producing poultry products