THE National President of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, speaking during the association visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in his office in Abuja recently, disclosed that the poultry value chain has contributed among others over 25 per cent of the Agricultural GDP of the Nigerian economy with a current worth of US $8 billion (about N1.6trillion naira).
Oduntan who pledged readiness of the association to work with relevant government agencies to produce affordable products for Nigerians, urged the federal government to give adequate attention and protection to the poultry industry by putting up strong measures to immediately control, contain and bring to a halt the further decimation of the industry by Avian Influenza.
The PAN President described the Minister as a passionate, experienced and vast in the knowledge of agriculture and called for a complete revolution of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
In a follow-up report that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in a recent communiqué has resolved to privatize the Bank Of Agriculture (BoA), the Honorable Minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh reiterated that his ministry will ensure that farmers will own majority of the shares in the Bank, during his speech at the meeting with the poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN).
Ogbeh reiterated that BoA will be restructured and plans were ongoing to ensure that farmers owned the majority shares, adding that of BOA, adding that enable farmers sit on the board of the bank and will enable them draw more benefits from the bank.
He charged poultry farmers to be more disciplined on the issue of hygiene in the operations of their farms, urging them to always report incidences of diseases to avoid further losses. He, also, stresses the need to enforce bio-security measures in the poultry industry and has resolved to close down all unregistered poultry farms in the country.
The Minister noted that it is only by registering with government and PAN that effective containment and control of outbreaks of diseases could be successful and assured the poultry farmers of government’s resolve to conduct a verification to ensure the authenticity of claims by farmers affected by Avian Influenza, with a view to finding possible ways of paying.
He promised to open a dedicated Website soon to educate Nigerians on the dangers and health implications of consuming smuggled goods.