Nigeria`s ambitions for food self -sufficiency and employment generation received a boost yesterday, with the commissioning of Olam Integrated Poultry Feed Mills and Hatchery in the northern Nigeria state of Kaduna.
The inauguration of the projects in Kaduna which was performed by Nigeria`s President, Muhammed Buhari, coincided with the official flag-off of an another Integrated Poultry and Fish Feed Mill established by the company in Ilorin, Kwara state.
Nigeria’s annual chicken consumption is estimated at 200 million birds, while supply is 140 million birds. The deficit of 60 million birds is filled by illegal imports that enter market at lower price point than domestic producers, and this gap is also a moving target based on fast food/QSR demand.
According to a statement made available to BusinessDay during commissioning ceremony, the establishment of the projects in the two states will result in a reduction in between $150-200 million foreign exchange being spent on illegal low quality imports.
Accordingly, with a combined capacity of 720,000 metric tons of poultry feeds annually, the new facilities directly address a significant supply gap for poultry meat in the country, in addition to providing farmers and distributors access to high –quality feeds and day-old-chicks at competitive prices.
Similarly, the company as a result of the establishment of the two projects will be training up to 10,000 farmers a year in best poultry farming practices.
“Given around 75% of poultry farming is managed by smallholders. Olam`s poultry initiatives have the potential to indirectly create 150,000 to 200,000 rural jobs for Nigerians as the entire sector is stimulated.
“A study conducted by our company estimated that poultry consumption among Nigerians could be increase up to 10-fold by 2040, provided domestic supply can meet increased demand and based on prices becoming more affordable for Nigerians. This would require the poultry feed and DOC supply in Nigeria to grow at over 10% CACR per year.
“Olam projects that its investment will enhance domestic poultry production by approximately 8 billion eggs and 100 million kilogrammes of poultry meat-the equivalent of 40 eggs and 0.5 frozen kilogrammes of chicken per Nigeria per year” the statement noted.
“In another pioneering efforts, Olam has created internship for around 100 veterinary aquaculture and agronomy graduates who will receive hands –on learning opportunities at the company `s state-of –the-art facilities for two years.” The statement further noted.
ADEOLA AJAKAIYE, Kaduna