A poultry farmer, Mr Joel Oduware, has lauded the Federal Government for the closure of the nation’s borders, describing the development as God’s answer to the prayers of poultry farmers.
Oduware, who is also a chicken processor, made the statement in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
He described the closure of the border as laudable, saying the action was the best decision for the poultry industry in Nigeria.
“The closure of the borders to imported frozen chicken is an answer to the prayer of Nigerian poultry farmers and processors.
“Importing food items has never been to the benefit of the Nigerian agriculture sector. While importing, we are losing foreign exchange, jobs and enforcing poverty.
“The closure of Nigerian borders to the importation of food items is a good development for the country. It will in the long run engender food security.”
Oduware also noted that the border closure was an opportunity to revamp the ailing local poultry industry, saying that the task of revamping the sector was achievable.
“For the past 20 years, the Nigerian poultry industry has been under-capitalised. The capacity of the average poultry farm is very low, especially the medium and smallholder farms.
“The large-scale poultry farms in the country are not utilising their capacity and because of this, in the last two decades, a lot of poultry farms in the country has closed shops.
“For example, Adewusi Poultry Farms in Ilorin, Folawiyo Farms, Ladipo Daniel Farms and Njoku Farms in Lagos have all been closed down.
“If the poultry industry is recapitalised, these large-scale farms will be re-opened and revitalised to create more jobs and a booming agricultural sector.
“With the closure of the borders, the market is available for these poultry farms to utilize, not leaving behind the small-scale and medium-scale poultry farms.
“It might take some time for these farms to bounce back but in a short, while our local poultry industry will be self-sufficient.”
The farmer revealed that the border closure had resulted to a lot of local poultry farmers returning to their businesses.
“Some local poultry farmers are yet to start enjoying the benefits, following the closure of the borders because at present prices are going up in procuring poultry birds for rearing.
“Birds we were buying between N160 to N200 now go for close to N380-N400 per bird.
“The increase in the price is, as a result, a lot of poultry farmers going back to the business.
“As at today, a lot of farms that were closed have gone to restock their farms with birds to enable them meet the demand for locally processed chickens, following the border closure,” he said.