BusinessDay

Amo Group: Tapping opportunities in animal protein production

…First to produce the dual-purpose bird ...VCN visits to see the level of investments

Nigerians demand for animal protein is on the rise and Amo Group is among the agribusinesses tapping the opportunity in its production.

Amo Group is supporting Africa’s most populous country to address its high malnutrition and protein deficiency through its huge investments in poultry production and its technological adoption to boost productivity.

Through one of its subsidiaries – Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited, it developed Africa’s first multi-coloured dual-purpose breed suitable for backyard rearing to empower households with chicken and eggs for their daily protein requirement.

Owing to the good work Amo Group has been doing across the poultry value chain, the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) led by Aisha Abubakar Baju, its president paid a two-day courtesy visit to Amo Group operational base in Awe, Oyo state recently.

Aisha who was accompanied by other council members including Ezenwa Isaac Nwakonobi the council registrar; Tunji Nasir, president, Commonwealth Veterinary Association; Ibrahim Shehu, president, Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association and Oputa-Chime Helen Ego, council zonal co-coordinator, South West explained that the visit was part of the VCN’s inspection to the South West.

According to her, the council needed to visit the group given the strategic position it occupies in the nation’s veterinary establishments and agricultural sector being the only pure-line breeder farm for dual-purpose poultry birds in Africa and the foremost fully integrated poultry farm in Nigeria.

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She acknowledged the employment opportunities provided to the many veterinary doctors within the group as well as its scientific research capabilities which led to the significant breakthrough on Noiler birds.

The VCN’s president also acknowledged the opportunities for the profession arising from this, its contribution to the national economy through the support and engagement provided to the group’s immediate communities and the country at large.

She assured of the readiness of the council to work with the Amo Group not only in the area of reinvigoration of the veterinary profession in Nigeria in an attempt to further grow the profession but also to grow the agricultural sector and the economy of the nation.

Speaking also, Ayoola Oduntan, group managing director, Amo Group while receiving the council members expressed delight at the visit and thanked the Council for the important confidence boost.

According to him, Amo Group sees the visit from the council as a show of commitment and readiness for partnership by the council to further the course of both VCN and the group.

Oduntan praised the council for its many achievements in positioning the noble profession and pointed out the need for the Council and Amo Group to work together to improve national policies that will strengthen the profession and allow local industries the enabling environment to succeed in the sector.

According to him, the government at all levels must be meaningfully engaged, supported, and guided to provide the necessary friendly regulations to protect the local industries and encourage growth and development in the interest of the nation.

He pointed out that the group being the only fully integrated animal protein group in the country with significant operations in the poultry, feeds, and concentrates, beef and fish value chains in Nigeria have factories, farms, and operation bases across nines states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with distributor activities across all the states of the Federation making the group a significant contributor to the nation’s economy.

He stated that the group’s subsidiaries are proudly Nigerian and are solidly committed to the long-term prosperity of the country and Africa.

While briefing council members about the business scope and achievements of group Agboola Belgore, general manager- corporate affairs & administration revealed that, Amo Group is a proudly Nigerian conglomerate in the end-to-end value chain of animal protein and the number one producer of day-old chicks in the country.

He noted that the group’s facilities include three feed mills located in Owerri, Aba, and Jos, two soya plants in Awe and Jos, several poultry farms in Awe and Ibadan, three hatcheries in Owerri and Awe, a fish farm in Ogbomosho, three chicken abattoirs in Akinyele, Uyo and Kaduna, a cattle ranch and beef abattoir in Ogbomosho.

Belgore intimated that through continuous in-house research programs over the last 16 years, the group was able to develop the Noiler dual-purpose poultry bird; the first dual-purpose breed developed in Africa, expected to significantly impact rural poverty within five years by providing animal protein to poor households at an affordable price and minimal maintenance cost.

“The Noiler bird is positioned to empower over one million rural women by the end of 2021. By selling this dual-purpose to rural housewives at subsidized rates, the Group intends to create wealth and reduce malnutrition in this often neglected demography,” he said.

This will provide each housewife with an opportunity to earn N60,000 from an N15,000 investment while increasing the average protein intake to the recommended 20g per day. Placing Noiler among the poorest of the poor will change the face of poverty and malnutrition in Nigeria,” he said.

“With the establishment of Natnupreneur Farmers Scheme (Broiler out-grower scheme), the group has reactivated and supported over 3,500 poultry farms across Nigeria which were previously moribund or underutilizing their capacity,” he further said.

“The group also takes live broiler birds from farmers which are processed at our abattoirs in Ibadan (southwest farmers), Uyo (south-south and southeast farmers), and Kaduna (Northern farmers). From 2014 to 2018 alone, over N7.2billion was paid to Natnupreneur farmers for birds purchased,’ he added.

He noted that Amo’s out-grower scheme for maize and soya bean seed is under development and is expected to create wealth among rural farmers, transporters, and traders.

He added that the group comprises Amo Byng Nigeria Limited which was established in 1987 to produce high-quality finished feeds and concentrates for poultry, cattle, pigs, fish, and other livestock animals.

“Amo Byng also has two soybeans processing plants in Jos and Awe.”

“Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited is a leader in the production of day-old chicks, natnudO Foods (a division of Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited) processes and markets frozen poultry products, frozen ranched beef products, and freshwater catfish fish as natnudO chicken, natnudO beef and natnudO fish.”

“Diversay Solutions Limited was established in 2007. It imports high-quality input for successful animal production such as veterinary drugs, veterinary vaccines, disinfectants, animal production equipment, and feed additives.

“The company also runs commercial laboratory services to support farm production. It has a full-fledged consultancy unit that commercially advises new animal production start-ups, thriving operations, and ailing operations on best and most impactful practices that guarantee profitability and growth. It undertakes turnkey farm projects and builds, operates, and transfers projects.

“DSL Pharma is a new division of the business involved in local manufacturing of Veterinary drugs and disinfectants” he added.

The highlight of the visit was a facility tour of Amo Group in Awe by the council members, including feed mills, farms, and hatcheries as well as the high capacity chicken abattoir in Akinyele, Ibadan.

The president and council members were excited at the level of investment, automation, and sophistication of the facilities they saw and praised the industry and foresight of the group.

While bidding the council farewell on the second day of the visit, Oduntan appreciated VCN and expressed hope that the visit would mark the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship between them and the council.

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