Emmanuel Iregbeyen, a poultry expert, believes local farmers can meet Nigeria’s poultry demands with one caveat – the smuggling has to stop.
Iregbeyen is the managing director of Emiraz Livestock Services. He said the poultry farmers can also meet the shell egg chicken and broiler supply of the nation if Nigerians would patronize 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.
According to Iregbeyen, the high cost of raw materials is the major challenge in poultry business, saying that subsidizing such components would boost production and consumption of locally bred broilers.
“If the government comes to our aid and the price of raw materials is subsidized, 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.
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.
Nigeria consumes 1.5 million tons of chicken annually of which only 30 per cent is being produced locally.