Lagos – As Nigeria grapples with meeting food sufficiency, a poultry expert, Mr Emmanuel Iregbeyen, says local farmers can meet the country’s poultry demands if smuggling is stopped.
Iregbeyen, the Managing Director, Emiraz Livestock Services, who made the assertion in an interview on Tuesday in Lagos, said the farmers had the capability.
He said the poultry farmers could also meet the Shell Egg Chicken and Broiler supply of the nation if Nigerians would patronise the local breeds only.
“Nigeria can do without imported frozen chicken. Our local poultry farmers have the capacity to meet the poultry demands of the country but Nigerians have penchant foreign products,’’ he said.
Iregbeyen identified high cost of raw materials as a major challenge in poultry business, saying subsidising such components would boost production and consumption of locally bred broilers.
“If the government comes to our aid and the price of raw materials are subsidised, we will be able to produce broilers at a cheaper rate.
“The difference in the price of locally bred chicken and what is imported is very minimal. With a little subsidy, we will be able to sell 1kg of chicken for less than N1000,’’ he said.
Harping on the profitability of poultry farming business, Iregbeyen encouraged young graduates to see poultry farming as a way out of joblessness.
“I encourage young graduates to embark on poultry business. There’s no need to loiter the streets looking for unavailable jobs,’’ he said.
NAN reports that from available statistics, Nigeria consumes 1.5 million tons of chicken annually of which only 30 per cent is being produced locally.