FG Set To Clampdown On Ilegal Smuggling Of Poultry Product

The federal government has said it would soon commence the onslaught on poultry product smugglers because of its negative effect on poultry industry and the hazard it poses to human health.

Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Heineken Lokpobiri, who stated this during his visit to Amo Farm Sieber Hatchery (AFSH), Awe, Oyo State, during the week, said government is also taking the war to sellers of smuggled poultry products, to reduce the menace to its barest minimum.

Amo group of companies has Amo Byng Nigeria Limited, Diversay Solutions Limited, Natnudo foods Limited and DSL farmers, as its subsidiaries.

Lokpobiri, who described the farm as the biggest indigenous poultry facilities, lauded the farm’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan for creating jobs for over 2,000 rural dwellers, noting that government has set up a committee, headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to explore all possible avenues to tackle smuggling.

“It is either we kill smuggling or smuggling kills us. This administration, under President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to kill smuggling because of its negative effect on poultry industry. We are working very closely with your Group Managing Director and other stakeholders, to see how we can use multiple approaches to address this problem.

“FG is not only taking the war to smugglers alone, but also sellers of smuggled poultry products. In the next few weeks, we would be going to cold rooms to ask them how they got their stocks, “he said.

The Minister gave assurance that government would complement efforts of the farm in the area of motorable roads, provision of potable water for host community and other infrastructure, noting that he would ensure they are part of the 2018 budget.

In his address, the GMD, lamented the effect of the economic meltdown on the farm, saying it lost over two million Day-old-chicks due to low patronage. He added that increase in the price of maize with regards to stabilisation of prices, unavailability of grain all year round, are some of the serious challenges facing the industry.

FG Sets Up Task Force On Rice And Wheat Production

The Federal government has established a National Rice and Wheat Task Force to set up targets that will yield comprehensible and self-evident results in rice and wheat production in the country.

“What we are trying to achieve is that agriculture is our main stay and we are trying to evolve a strategy for our economy, a strategy for employment and a strategy for feeding our people,” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, stated on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa during the inauguration of the Task Force.

Osinbajo said the need to feed Nigeria’s population is the focus of the Buhari administration.

“Rice and wheat is our main focus, and we are making sure that in one year we can show the world that we are serious”, he stated.

Emphasizing on the need to develop strategies to rejuvenate the whole value chain, he gave the following as terms of reference to the panel:

“to set up production targets for rice and wheat in the participating states;

“to determine the scope and particulars for government support needed towards the attainment of the set targets;

“to consider and proffer the best off-take and marketing arrangements that will encourage maximum effort among the farmers/millers;

“to determine the rice and wheat value chain deficiencies and recommend solutions for addressing them;

“to mobilize farmers and millers in identified target states to engage the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and other available support facilities;

“to establish timelines for the delivery of goals set by the Task Force.”

Responding, the Chairman of the Task Force and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, thanked the Vice President for the consideration and stated that the disconnect between farmers and millers needed to be addressed.

He added that the two bodies in the value chain needed to be mobilized for maximum results.

Members of the task force include Governors of Kebbi State Senator Abubakar A. Bagugu, Dr. A. U. Ganduje of Kano State, and Engr. David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

Others are the Minister of State for Agriculture Lokpobiri Heineken, the President of Rice Farmers Association Mallam Aminu Goronyo and the President Wheat Farmers Association Saliu Mohammed.