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Chicken Industry Supports 20 Million Jobs

by 5m Editor
17 November 2010, at 9:19a.m.

NIGERIA - The ban on the importation of frozen chicken into Nigeria has created a minimum of 20 million jobs in the poultry and related industries.

The statement was made by the National Vice Chairman, South West of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr Ayo Oduntan, accoridng to All Africa, citing a report in Daily Independent.

Dr Oduntan, who spoke during an interview in Lagos said local poultry farmers and sellers, feed makers, grain farmers and other subsidiary businesses have been encouraged to increase investments in poultry production by the ban, hence is advocating for further government support in other areas to enhance more development of the sector.

He said the poultry industry is one of the major employers of labour in the country as about 20 million people are directly and indirectly involved in the industry.

He stressed that the livelihood of the 20 million Nigerians will be jeopardised if the government fail to continue to support the industry.

He cited the case in Ghana where the poultry industry is in near-collapse state because the government lifted the ban on importation of poultry products.

"The same must not be allowed to happen in the Nigeria," he added.

To further help the growth of the livestock sub-sector, the agro-allied businessman urged the government to provide low interest and long tenure bank loan for farmers.

In addition, he asked that the government to provide basic infrastructure, such as roads, electricity and water to farms and companies that are employing more than 100 people.

"Rather than being bombarded with multiple levies and taxes by agencies of the government, poultry farmers and producers should be given tax exemption or reduction and other incentives for development," he said.

Dr Oduntan also called on the government to create a strategic way of stockpiling grains to be sold to farmers when prices increase beyond a certain cut-off point, reports All Africa.

Speaking on how to achieve food security and poverty reduction, which are pivotal in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Dr Oduntan advocated that the government should encourage abundant food production as was done by the America and Europe after the world wars.

He added that this would result in significant reduction in civil unrest in the nation.

"More so, the objectives of the MDGs can be achieved through a viable poultry industry. For example, if selected women from all local governments were to be trained on basic poultry keeping techniques and provided with chicken, cages and feed, free or at subsidised rate, millions of people will improve their nutritional and health status while gaining economic empowerment," he added.