Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, says the Federal Government has urgent relief plans for the poultry farmers to cushion the poultry industry in the country from collapse.
He said this while meeting with representatives of poultry farmers the second time recently at the Presidential Villa.
“The poultry industry is a local industry that needs to be protected urgently,” Osinbajo said at the meeting where specific measures were tabled and considered on how the FG could be of help.
He said the industry should be a major plank of the agriculture sector and as such the Buhari administration would ensure that it got help regarding the challenges being faced by operators of the sub-sector.
He added that by supporting the local industry, poultry-related importation which was currently a drain on the country’s Foreign Exchange could be a thing of the past.
In his remarks, the president, Poultry Association of Nigeria, noted that poultry presently contributed 25 per cent of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product of the Nigerian economy amounting to N1.6 trillion.
He added that Nigeria was rated as the number one egg-producing nation and number four in poultry meat in the continent.
“The poultry sub-sector is said to generate over 14 million direct and indirect jobs in the country, “he said.
Present at the meeting were the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Agriculture & Rural Development Minister of State, Heineken Lokpobiri.
Others were the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali, (rtd), and the Central Bank Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Lokpobiri later told State House correspondents that the ministry would embark on aggressive maize and soya bean cultivation to produce surplus of poultry feed input.
“What we have is that we are going to develop a programme that will deliberately grow more maize which will satisfy not only our local market but the international market.
“We have a demand from Algeria and some other countries.
“They are saying that if we are able to grow two million metric tons and above for them they are going to construct a rail line to Kano to come and buy,’’ the minister disclosed.
He also advised farmers hoarding maize with the intention of selling later to the federal government to desist as such produce would not be bought from them by the government.
“It is also an opportunity to send this signal to those who are hoarding maize that anybody who is hoarding maize does so at his own peril.