Border Closure: Nigerian Chicken Reappears With Aims Of Flexing Muscle.
President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Mr. Ezekiel Ibrahim has commended the Federal Government for closing the land borders across the country, saying the step will go a long way in boosting agriculture in the country; especially the poultry sector.
The local chickens in Nigeria are commonly called the Nigerian Indigenous Chicken (NIC), and they are all classified into two breeds based on location. They are the Fulani Ecotypes and Forest savannah (Yoruba) Ecotypes.
A large percentage of exotic improved breeds in Nigeria are layers and they provide the large majority of commercial eggs. Exact numbers are not available but it is estimated that 70-80 per cent of exotic breeds are layers and the rest are broilers. Normally, spent layers together with local poultry and, to a less extent, spent parent stocks, supply the largest portion of poultry meat. During festive occasions (Christmas, New Year, Easter, end of Ramadan and Tabasky), there is a peak in demand for poultry meat and this is mostly provided by the broiler.
Nigeria has an estimated 240m birds but smuggled chicken is cheaper and more affordable to ordinary citizens that consume it by the tonne.
Ibrahim, who said this at the 9th Nigeria Poultry Show in Abeokuta, Ogun State, applauded the Federal Government for the closure of the nation’s land borders, saying that it will launch the country’s to limelight in the international community
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. Ibrahim, who was represented by the National Secretary of the association, Prince Joseph Aladesuyi at the programme tagged: Nigeria Poultry Industry: Managing the Value Chain for National Development, said
“I want to appreciate the Federal Government over the border closure. And because of the closure, there are greater employment opportunities for teeming Nigerians.”
He added that things must be done in the right way for Nigerians to get the benefits of the border closure.
“Those who cut corners must stop. Let us provide products for Nigerians, let us provide good services for Nigerians. “Very soon, it will be very difficult to get broilers in the country because of the closure. We must close those gaps through research and extension work”.
“Let the borders remain closed until we fix ourselves and become better. Other nations have done it. China closed it for 40 years. India did that too. We can only get better economically when we close our borders,” he said.
"From available statistics, Nigeria consumes about 1.5 million tons of chicken annually but Nigeria produces only 30% of that. It is not that we do not have the capacity to produce 100% of what we consume, it is just that 70% of the chickens that we consume are imported (smuggled). Some people call them 'cadaver' chickens because of the long and poor storage process that they must go through before they get into the country. This is basically one of the biggest challenges confronting the broiler market in Nigeria. So, from an economic perspective, it's affecting all the stakeholders in the value chain, namely: farmers, farm workers, transporters, input suppliers (feed, DOC,), laboratories, extension officers, veterinary doctors, financial service providers, processing plants etc.