The Nigerian poultry industry worth over N1.7 trillion is being threatened by poor economy and high cost of feeds, the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has warned.
Ezekiel Ibrahim Mam, the National President of PAN, stated this in Abuja at the weekend on the occasion to mark the World Egg Day.
Mam said many poultry farmers in the last five years were not able to break even, adding that as a result of the situation, many have closed down.
Mam, represented by Onallo Akpa, Director-General of PAN, called on the government to create an enabling environment for the poultry industry to thrive so as to save their investments from total collapse.
He noted that the economy of the egg in Nigeria is enormous as an egg per day for 50 percent of the Nigerian population would produce a daily economic value of N1.7 billion.
He also said the annual revenue from egg sales would be N620 billion, adding that egg played an indispensable role in feeding people around the world since they were an excellent and affordable source of high protein.
He stated that the poultry industry contributed over 25 percent to the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy.
Mam said, to achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), poultry products, especially chicken and eggs which contribute 36.5percent of the protein intake of Nigerians, must be taken seriously.
To this end, Mam appealed to the government to resuscitate some national programmes that would assist in improving the health of Nigerians, using eggs as part of the country’s nutritional programme.
The National President of PAN also called for a nationwide school feeding programme embracing an egg a day for every Nigerian child as well as making egg part of the prisons’ feeding programme.
According to him, “As various Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) research findings have indicated, in the next 40 years, meat and egg production will have to grow by a huge 75 percent to meet the demand for animal protein.
“Therefore, the government needs to give special focus and priority to the poultry industry. Egg is surely the solution as an egg a day for the Nigerian child is a miracle for the future.”