Nigerian state to promote poultry development

Poultry production in the north-west Nigerian state of Sokoto is to receive a significant boost with a new initiative from the state government.

(Wabeno, Bigstock)
(Wabeno, Bigstock)

Poultry production in the north-west Nigerian state of Sokoto is to receive a significant boost with a new initiative from the state government. This welcome news may provide some relief for the country’s poultry industry, which is facing new challenges to the health and nutrition of its birds.

According to statement issued by state Governor Aminu Tambuwal, the new agency for poultry development aims to provide employment for two million people within a few years, reports Tribune Online.

Key to the initiative is the provision of technical expertise so that the sector provides not only employment but also helps reduce rural poverty. Furthermore, some of the increased output of poultry meat and eggs can be exported to neighboring counties.

Target of the initiative is to turn Sokoto into the country’s top state in terms of poultry production.

According to the most recent national census, which was in 2006, the total population of Sokoto state was just under 3.7 million. If the latest initiative achieves its target, the poultry sector looks set to become the leading business in the region.

This week, the Federal Government of Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to the development of the country’s agriculture sector generally.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh, announced that additional incentives are to be offered to help finance and support small and medium-scale enterprises through investment bodies such as the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN).

Since it was launched in 2014, FAFIN’s investment arm, Sahel Capital, has invested in more than 100 companies that it assessed as having high growth potential. Poultry production has been one of four sector to benefit from that support.

Disease, feed challenges to Nigeria’s poultry sector

In the latest news from a long-running battle against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), Buzz Nigeria reports new outbreaks of the disease in poultry. A federal agriculture ministry official said the disease had been recently confirmed in seven states and the Federal Capital Territory. He added that the HPAI has hit 800 farms in 26 states since it arrived in the country in 2008, and that the government has made compensation payments totaling 674 million naira (NGN; US$2.1 million) to 269 farmers. Poor biosecurity and inappropriate vaccination are blamed for the continued spread of the disease.

Adding to the challenges facing the sector, this season’s corn (maize) crop is being targeted by a voracious pest, the armyworm, reports Tribune Online. With harvests likely to be down, the country will need to import more of its maize requirement than usual. Corn is the most important grain in poultry feed.

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