[BLOG] USAID, Sub-Regional Poultry Farming Integration Plan To Attract N58 Billion
The integration initiative of USAID to facilitate unrestricted trans-border trade amongst Poultry farmers in the West African sub-region on poultry products is expected to bring over N58 billion investments to the country.
The National Secretary of Poultry Association of Nigerian (PAN), Engineer John Oladero, who disclosed this at the just concluded regional workshop on Hatchery Certification standards for West Africa held in Lagos said statistic of intent to invest available to the association has indicated that the initiative of USAID of bringing poultry farmers in the sub-region together would attract lots of investments thriving in foreign countries outside the region to the country as it is a central and easily accessible point in the region.
Oladero, who said so many international poultry farmers had indicated interest to invest hugely in the industry to complement the existing investments, urged participants to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the initiative aimed at creating new markets and increasing their productivity.
He added that Nigeria with over 160 million people will soon be a reference point in agricultural development in this part of the world, saying embracing such step would help to boost the country’s human capital development indices.
Corroborating his views, the USAID Representative, Suzanne Ngo-Eyok said that what USAID has been doing since 2010 is to be working with hatcheries, lab and veterinary services in eight West African countries namely Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Cote d’ Iviore to find a solution to regional trade.
According to her, “Since the Avian Influenza outbreak in 2007, three countries have put in precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Now that Avian Influenza has kind of disappeared in so many countries, those restrictions are still in place and the argument used is Bio-safety.
She said the strategy adopted by USAID by looking at lab services and veterinary services and operators themselves is to ensure that international sanitary code of conduct for hatchery operators are strictly adhered to , adding that the agency now have two auditors per country who visit on inspections to see how key operators obey and what they need to do better in order to respect those standards.
She affirmed that , “At the moment, Nigeria is at an advantage because nothing comes in and in other countries, people prefer ordering day old chicks (DOC); even in Benin they have their DOCs coming from Belgium, even eggs to hatch their hatcheries coming from Belgium, Netherlands and Brazil, when they could come and get them from Nigeria.
“If you are in Ghana, you can get them to Benin or if in Senegal. Senegal was not actually affected by the outbreak of 2007 out of the other countries, so they could supply Mali, but because of those standard issues and mistrust between operators from one country to the other, there is no really far more certification coming to all the countries
“ That is why USAID has decided to support that initiative to bring all the regional stakeholders together and reintroduce trust to find a solution and find a way to open the way for trade in West Africa.”
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This article was originally posted on Africa Agribusiness Platform