…says project’ll unlock Edo’s potential in livestock production, create jobs
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has performed the groundbreaking ceremony for a 10,000-bird-per-day poultry processing plant, in Obayantor, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
The project, a partnership between the state government, Heifer International and Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited (Natnudo Foods), on completion, would process 10,000 poultry birds daily.
The governor, at the ground-breaking ceremony, said the project will unlock the state’s potential in livestock production, create job opportunities, and bolster the government’s efforts at diversifying the state’s economy.
He said, “What you are seeing here today is revolutionary because we have deliberately worked on this for the last five to six years. It has always been our dream to make sure that we return Edo State to its place of pride in agriculture in this country.
“What is it that they have in other places that our poultry farmers will continuously go there to buy everything they need for their poultry? What is it they are buying that we cannot produce?”
The governor added, “Today, we are putting a processing facility that will help hatch chickens so that farmers will come and buy. They will support them with feed and veterinary products and once they have grown their chickens, they will buy back and the farmers can go on with their normal jobs with this as a side business. Farmers no longer have to wait for Christmas or Easter to sell their chickens because there is a market they can sell to.”
He continued: “There are 200 million people in this country and if only 25 percent of the people in this country eat eggs daily, that will be more than 50 million eggs alone. If 1/4 of the families eat one chicken a day, that is about 50 million chickens.
“You can see the potential. Meanwhile, we are still importing most of our consumption in poultry. We cannot continue this way. It's not rocket science to produce products and that is what our partner has come to do.”
Speaking on the partnership, Obaseki noted, “The discussion with Amo Foods started almost six years ago. They came here to support us and gave special breeds of chicken to the first lady, which were distributed to women so that they can grow them and we buy back from them.”
The governor further promised the Obayantor Community of more infrastructural development with the birthing of the poultry project, including roads and 24 hours electricity, among others.
On his part, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Stephen Idehenre, said, “This initiative is targeted at supporting over 250,000 farmers by 2050 with production support inputs and training and will guarantee off-take for broiler farmers who, hitherto, had limited production cycles due to poor off-take.”
Also, the Country Director of Heifer international, Rufus Idris, hailed the support and partnership between the firm and the state government, urging farmers in the state to take advantage of the opportunities provided by partnership.
Similarly, the Managing Director Amo Farms, Ayoola Odutan, represented by Alaba Yunusa, while commending the governor for ensuring the right environment and incentives to attract investments into the state, said the facility will be the largest in Nigeria.