Edo State Government in partnership with Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited and Heifer International has stated that 500,000 smallholder poultry farmers would be empowered by 2030 through improved poultry production practices.
The State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, made the disclosure on Friday when he graced the unveiling ceremony of the Heifer-supported 10,000 per day Amo Farm Poultry Processing Plant located at Obayantor in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state.
Obaseki stated that the state was ready to harness the potential in poultry production to diversify the economy and eliminate unemployment in the state
According to him, “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.
“Today, we are putting a processing facility that will help hatch chickens so that farmers will come and buy them, and be supported with feeds and veterinary products.
“And once they have grown their chickens, they will buy back from the farmers and the farmers can go on with their normal jobs as a side business.
“Farmers no longer have to wait for Christmas or Easter to sell their chickens because there is already an existing market to sell them.”
Rufus Idris, Country Director for Heifer International, also gave a speech during which he announced that the alliance would support 200,000 farmers by 2025 and 500,000 farmers by 2030.
Idris claimed that while a private sector partner, Amo Farm, would ensure a sustainable off-take of the birds raised by the farmers, the farmers would produce broiler and noiler chicken.
He explained that the program would have an effect on nearly 500,000 farmers, generate more than 850 jobs, and give young people and women opportunity to start their own businesses.
According to him, “This initiative will increase farmers’ access to innovative finance, infrastructure and innovation.
“Under this partnership, Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited is to establish a standard poultry processing plant, starting with a 10,000 chicken per day capacity.
“Edo State known for its large number of smallholder poultry farmers constrained by poor market access for chickens produced due to absence of structured market and off-taker in the state.
“Nigeria consumes about 1.5 million tons of chicken annually but only 30 percent of that is produced locally.
“Nigeria’s poultry sector, a $4.2 billion industry, is witnessing a rise in demand for poultry meat and egg driven by increasing population and urbanization.”
He said the state government’s vision is to make the state a poultry hub that produces and processes five million chickens per week.
“This is aimed at creating business and employment opportunities for its citizens, while helping the nation address its food security challenges,” added.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Amo Farms, Ayoola Oduntan, said negotiation for the plant had been on since 2017.
Represented by Alaba Yunusa, Oduntan promised to make the poultry processing plant the largest in Nigeria.