Poultry contributes 25% to Nigeria’s GDP – PAN President

 The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) says the poultry sub-sector is contributing 25 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) annually, amounting to the single largest contributor to agriculture.

Dr Ayoola Oduntan, President of the association made this known in Lagos on Wednesday at the 4th Poultry Summit, 2016 tagged: ``The Role of Poultry Industry in Economic Revival of Nigeria,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Oduntan said that the sub-sector was a major consumer of commodities such as maize, cassava, soya beans and polished rice.
``We have it on good record that poultry contributes 25 per cent of the agriculture GDP of the country.
``Poultry is probably the single largest sector in agriculture, for instance, we consume 25 per cent of the maize produced in this country; we consume a lot of the polish from the rice.
``We also consume the entire soya beans produced as by-products; we consume cassava so we play a very significant role in the country’s economy.
``We are very happy that at last the industry is getting the recognition it deserves,’’ Oduntan said.
The president revealed that over 60 per cent of poultry industries had been shut down, while most existing ones were operating below capacity.
He also said that the industry was beginning to enjoy the attention of the Federal Government to ensure that the country became self sufficient in poultry production.
``Over 60 per cent of poultry companies in Nigeria are closed down or working below capacity; if we can revive that capacity we will very quickly close the deficit between demand and supply.
``Eventually, we will produce enough chicken for export. We must all work together and collaborate to make this a reality.
``What we are here to do is to see how we can generate money in Nigeria by Nigerians thereby creating jobs for the people,” he said.
Oduntan said the association was ready to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that the nation is self sufficient in the production of poultry products.
NAN reports that the poultry summit usually kicks off the poultry year after which the poultry exhibition would be held.
Some of the challenges identified at the summit include, lack of raw materials like maize; limited access to credits; high interest rate on farmers loans from commercial banks.
Other challenges also include: Avian Influenza (bird flu), access to forex among others.
Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), present at the event, reiterated Federal Government’s support for the industry.
Lokpobiri revealed that in collaboration with PAN, adequate compensation would be given to poultry farmers affected by the bird flu.
``FMARD will be working with PAN to pay adequate compensation to those who have lost their birds to Avian Influenza disease.
``Farmers should insure their poultry farms and also vaccinate their birds against diseases,’’ the minister said.
Lokpobiri also revealed that a vaccine had been developed in the US to stop avian flu and the Federal Government was planning to send some veterinary doctors for training.
The summit had over 1,000 delegates from within and outside the country.

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