• Asks CBN to explain its acclaimed 166 farmers’ schemes
Members of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) have called the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to peg interest rate on loans to the sector to a maximum of three per cent.
The association, involving poultry farmers, toll millers, input suppliers and ancillary businesses, also asked the CBN to properly identify and itemize programmmes it has emplaced for farmers following a recent claim that there were about 166 ongoing programmes funded by the CBN across the country.
National President, PAN, Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim Mam, speaking on the current situation of the poultry industry and the way to sustain growth in Nigeria, said “the association will be interested to know the identity of these projects and the location across the country so that we can see how the association can work with these projects that have correlation and benefit to the poultry industry in Nigeria.”
PAN said the poultry industry uptakes about 40% of maize and 60% of soybeans produced in the country, adding that: “We are also the major off-takers of rice bran, wheat offal, groundnut cake and others, and with our continued determination to create awareness and increase the per capita consumption of poultry products by Nigerians by 50%, we are set to create a new revolution in the entire agricultural value chains in Nigeria.”
While the association appreciated the apex bank for its various interventions, it said members would be more grateful if all stakeholders were carried along in most of the interventions so that they would have convergence of action plans to achieve meaningful development.
According to PAN, there should be coordinated collaboration, synergy and interfacing among all the stakeholders in the agricultural value chains, the association suggested, and that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, state ministries of agriculture, commodity associations, CBN, commercial banks, state and local governments authorities, traditional rulers, agricultural research institutes and the National Orientation Agency should work together for the growth of the agricultural sector.
They also urged the government to develop a reliable data collection method to build reliable and transparent database, and increase funding of ministries of agriculture at the federal, state local government levels.
“The Federal Government should maintain total ban on the importation of frozen poultry products and ensuring that maximum sanctions and prosecution are meted to violators in order to deter others.
“There should be constant consultation between the various offices of the government with all the commodity associations to ensure first-hand and undiluted information to realising our common objectives,” PAN said.
Other demands include free duty charge for the importation of poultry equipment and machines and improvement on security situation, among others.
“It is our belief that if the government can address these concerns, the determination of the government to achieve national food security and self-sufficiency will be attained soonest and no citizens will go to bed with an empty stomach,” the association said.