Federal Government has been advised not to yield to pressure from the neighbouring countries on reopening of the land borders. Stephen Olufemi, General Secretary, Poultry Association of Nigeria, (PAN) Lagos state chapter gave the advice at a media parley with DAILY INDEPENDENT during the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Alimosho zone end of the year party and inauguration of new executives of the zone at Akesan area of Lagos.
He said that the closure of the border has helped farmers in the country especially the poultry farmers because there has been a great increase in their production.
He said that farmers have been seeing the impact because their products are been sold as at when due and that a lot of farmers cannot meet demands of their customers which has not been so for a very long time.
“We have seen the impact because we are selling our product as it is required now; before we are always running helter-skelter to sell our products like processed chicken, but nowadays people are rushing our products, since they have opened market for us. “Now that the border has been closed we are doing more and we are also employing more people. In our sector alone we are able to employ 10million people in Nigeria so the moment the border has been closed on imported frozen foods, we are really enjoying. In no time there will be boom in production.
“we really appreciate the effort of government on that and we still continue to tell them that they should allow it to remain till the entire industry is improved and by the time the border is reopened, people must have known the advantage of eating fresh chicken, compared to the imported ones that have stayed for a very long time on the sea.
“The taste and the aroma are quite different, so by the time the government will want to reopen the border because of the pressure from other neighbouring countries, Nigerians must have known that eating our locally produced chicken and eggs is very advantageous. “There are pressures all over. To me, it is not right for the government to open it now, if the government should yield to the pressure from other countries it is like we don’t know what we are doing because this country that are giving them pressure depend on us.
Let us see what the border closure will do for the next two years,” he added. Babatunde Liadi, a newly appointed patron of the association called on the government at all levels to support and encourage farmers in the country.
He said that there is need to encourage the farmers and that for the nation to be able to sustain the nation’s growth and population there is need to invest more in agriculture. Liadi also advised the farmers to improve on their products and ensure that their prices are not too high for common man to buy.
“If you look at it now we are all encouraged to eat Nigerian rice, Nigerians chicken and also patronise made in Nigeria products. It is also evidence that government need to support farmers in order for us to get it cheaper. “In most of the advance world we found out that food is the cheapest.
It is not because the farmers are not spending enough or working hard, it is simply because government subsidises agriculture. I advise our farmers associations to liase with the government so that government can also be more involved in agriculture businesses,” he added. Chibuzo Ugwu, newly elected Chairman of the zone while speaking promise to do his best to make sure that poultry farmers in the zone benefit from any initiative that will boost the productivity of the farmers.
He also promised to organise trainings for members of the association so as to improve their capacity.