Ogun State Government has said that it was poised to ensuring that farmers were empowered to produce enough food to attain self sufficiency and food security.
Governor Abiodun who stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Nigeria Poultry Show, with the theme “Managing the Value Chain for National Development”, held in Abeokuta, said, one of the priorities of his administration was to make the State a net exporter of food, adding that this would guarantee food security and provide employment for the teeming youths.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, noted that, in order to achieve the plan, the State had launched the Anchor Borrower’s Programme, with rice, cassava and maize, revealing that poultry, aquaculture and other agricultural sectors would be added soon.
He added that, the Investment Promotion Council was set up to improve on value chain and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) bill was also initiated to attract more investors to the State.
In her goodwill message, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Abosede Ogunleye said the theme of the 2019 Nigeria Poultry Show was apt, as it addressed how farmers could connect to the value chain, which she noted was the first step to economic development.
She highlighted some of the present administration’s interventions in the agricultural sector to include; facilitating linkage between farmers and industries, encouraging local processing to enhance value and setting up agricultural hub capable of feeding the State and other states across the country and providing a holistic value-chain approach to agricultural development.
In his remarks, the National Vice President, South West Poultry Association of Nigeria, Dr. Adetoye Olabode, noted that Nigeria remained the gateway to West Africa market, with agriculture import in 2018 totalling $4.5 Billion, saying this had opened development of the value chain in poultry production and created employment from farm planning, farm management, transportation, veterinary and allied drugs amongst others.
In his presentation, titled; Managing the Value Chain in the Nigeria Poultry Industry, Prof. Bola Okuneye of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, pointed out that the industry was faced by array of challenges which included; poor quality of feed ingredients for feed production, poor quality chicks, pollution due to management of poultry waste, causing conflict between farmers and neighbours, as well as low access to funds.
He stated that the industry remained a major source of prospects for rapid growth and development of the Country, calling on government and stakeholders to help tackle the various challenges ravaging the industry.
Earlier, the Local Organising Committee Chairman, Mr. Olalekan Odunsi stated that the show provided an opportunity to interact directly with farmers, introduce people to new products, attract new prospects and offer seminars on products, as well as Avenue to meet poultry farmers all over Nigeria.
He charged investors, especially producers of inputs, such as; day old chicks, drugs, vaccines, feeds, additives and equipment to produce products that would meet international standards and at reasonable prices without necessarily exploiting the farmers, while calling on government at all levels to create enabling environment for the Poultry Industry to thrive.