By Jimoh Babatunde
A fast growing agriculture producing, processing and export company ,Agricorp International, has invested N4 billion into acquiring poultry production facilities across three states in Nigeria.
This move will see the company deepen its portfolio to include livestock production, processing and eventual export while providing employment and contributing to reducing the poultry meat deficit in Nigeria.
Since its launch in 2018, Agricorp has specialised in the production and processing of spices through which it has empowered over 5000 smallholder farmers and helped increase their income by about 20% while providing them with better market access to sell their farm produce.
It is now ready to open an opportunity for more Nigerian youths to join the agricultural value chain by providing them with the requisite skills and capacity needed through ‘Project Eclipse 2025’, its poultry development program.
With Project Eclipse 2025, Agricorp aims to invest over N20 billion in the production, processing and eventual export of poultry products. This investment is expected to provide direct and indirect employment for an estimated 100,000 Nigerian youths by 2025. It will also aid the promotion of sustainable economic growth for the country, reduce the pressure of importing poultry products and provide productive employment and decent work for youths, 50% of whom will be women.
Having executed the pilot phase of its poultry program in Q3 2021, Agricorp achieved mortality rates of between 5-7 per cent across its various farm locations with an overall 100% off-take rate from its partners who are major stakeholders in the poultry processing value chain.
According to Kenneth Obiajulu, Agricorp’s Co-Founder and CEO, “The rising inflation rate in food and agricultural produce poses a challenge that stares us in the face. Our dependence on imported food items also contributes to the pressure on foreign exchange. Investing N4 billion in 142 poultry pens across Kwara, Kogi and Nasarawa states will boost local poultry production by at least 3 million poultry birds per annum. At kickoff, the project will create a minimum of 1,500 jobs and contribute slightly to easing the pressure on foreign exchange caused by the importation of poultry into the country”.
Wale Omotimirin, Agricorp’s Co-Founder adds, “This is a massive project for the business. We have an ambitious goal to produce 40 million poultry birds by 2025, which will represent approximately 4% of the projected annual demand. We have demonstrated good faith by making our first commitment and investment. By Q2 2022, we will commence the second phase of deploying additional resources to hit two times our current capacity. We are taking on the mandate to help improve the economy the best way we know how to – through agriculture”.
According to a 2019 report by the Central Bank of Nigeria, it was estimated that over 1.2 million MT of poultry meat is smuggled into Nigeria from Benin Republic. This opens a huge gap in the poultry market and Agricorp is ready to help close up this gap. Over the next four years, Agricorp will be building over 1,000 poultry pens with a projected capacity of 10,000 birds each. This will strengthen Agricorp’s ability to produce its targeted 40 million poultry birds by 2025 and build the local capacity of Nigerians by creating entrepreneurial opportunities which is critical to achieving these goals.