• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Poultry association urges involvement of stakeholders in policy formulation, lower interest rates

Poultry

The dearth of quality engagement between policy makers in government and leadership of agricultural commodity associations, is limiting growth across the agricultural sector, added to this, the recurring theme of difficulty in accessing credit and high interest rates. These were some of the highlights contained in a press statement of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, where pressing concerns regarding the industry’s growth where itemized with a view to achieving much needed growth to meet the country’s needs.

“There should be constant consultation between the various offices of the Government with all the commodity associations to ensure first hand and undiluted information to realising our common objectives,” noted Ezekiel Ibrahim, national president, Poultry Association of Nigeria, in a statement.

It was also noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria recently issued a statement that there were about 166 ongoing projects funded by the CBN across the country. The association , however, expressed curiosity in the identity of these projects and the location across the country in order to determine how the Association can work with these projects that have correlation and benefit to the poultry industry in Nigeria.

“While we appreciate the Central Bank for their roles, the association will be more grateful if all stakeholders are carried along in most of the agricultural interventions so that collectively we shall have convergence of action plan to achieve meaningful developments since we have common goals and objectives,” said Ibrahim.

According to him, “The poultry industry in Nigeria is a major player in the agricultural value chain as we uptake about 40 percent of maize and 60 percent of soybeans produced in the country,” said Ibrahim. “We are also the major offtakers of rice bran, wheat offal, groundnut cake and others.” He explained that with the industry’s continued determination to create awareness and increase the per capita consumption of poultry products of 0Nigerians by 50 percent current consumption rate, it is set to create a new revolution in the entire agricultural value chains in Nigeria.

This, he says is predicated on serious consideration and specific attention being given to the poultry industry as the major supply source of cheap and quality protein products. To achieve this, the PAN president urged the Government to create favorable and enabling policies to encourage agricultural production to match the President’s rhetoric. Other requests included deliberate policy formulation to encourage private sector investments in agriculture by pegging interest rates to this sector between 1 and 3 percent.

According to Ibrahim, there should be coordinated collaboration, synergy and interfacing among all the stakeholders in the agricultural value chains. This includes the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, States Ministry of Agriculture, Commodity Associations , CBN, Commercial banks State and local governments authorities, traditional rulers Agricultural research institutes and the National Orientation Agency.

Also, highlighted is the need to develop a reliable data collection method in order to build reliable and transparent database; increase the percentage and funding of ministries of agriculture at Federal State and local Governments, and ; increase the funding of agricultural research institutes and appoint monitoring and evaluation committees to ensure that targets are set up with deliverables. The M&E should involve the local community, Commodity associations Manufacturers and relevant professional bodies.

Also included in the association’s requests to keep the sector thriving is a call for the Federal government to maintain total ban on the importation of frozen poultry products and ensuring that maximum sanctions and prosecution are meted to violators in order to deter others.

It was also stated that the Federal Government should allow free duty charge for the importation of poultry equipments and machines, agricultural machines that are not produced locally rather than the current practice of putting all agricultural equipment on 5 percent import duty against the previous zero duty for all agricultural equipment.

The security situation, which according to the statement has become overwhelming most especially in the northern part of the country where grains are largely produced, was as well highlighted. The association appealing to government and all stakeholders to “ move fast to restore security for farmers as without the farmers life will be near impossible for people living in the towns and cities.”