The immediate National President of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, has said that poultry production is a low hanging fruit with remarkable short and long term benefits.
For the sake of clarity, “Low-hanging fruit refers to the tasks, actions or goals that may be most easily achieved. The expression low-hanging fruit is used to describe an action that takes almost no effort. The idea comes from the very literal task of picking fruit off a tree”.
He stated this in an interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT, stressing that the local poultry industry has the capacity to produce enough chicken to satisfy local consumption and export around the continent, but that Nigerians must be ready to support the industry to grow to enjoy the benefits.
Oduntan, who is also the Group Managing Director, Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited, said that the border closure will generate between five hundred thousand and one million jobs within a two year period, stressing that over the next two years, a lot of farms will expand, and lot of new farms hands will be added and it will create a million jobs.
“We have to be patient, a number of countries that have achieved success in agriculture that we are very quick to make reference to have committed to policies such as this but with a long term vision.
He said that it is not only the poultry farmers that will be affected, but also others along the value chain which will include; farmers planting maize, soya beans, cattle because of the bone meal, limestone quarries, wheat and rice bran from flour mills and rice mills among other.
“A lot of trucks will need to be purchased to transport these raw materials. There will be hundreds of thousands of drivers and motor boys because we need additional transporters to move the maize and the soya beans, live chicken and eggs that will be consumed by the additional poultry farms and markets.
“We are not only talking about the hundreds of thousands of people that will load and off-load all those raw materials and finished products, you can imagine the number of farms hands and thousands of new poultry farmers that will be created.
“Imagine the animal scientists, veterinarians and other specialised and non specialised jobs that will be created. The whole value chain including traders and consumers will create wealth in the nation,” he said.
Oduntan, while speaking on pricing said that what will happen is that even if the price goes up for a while now, by the time the industry starts to produce in larger quantities, economies of scale and competition will force the prices to come down significantly, which is what has happened in all the countries where the poultry demand is being serviced by the local poultry industry.
He said that Nigerians must properly appreciate the real situation and we have to understand the short, medium and long term implications of the decisions that we take.
“We should stop enriching other countries at our own expense. Nigeria needs to create jobs to survive.