Nigeria: Poultry Farmers in Abakaliki Appeal for Govt Assistance to Boost Production

Some poultry farmers in Abakaliki have appealed to federal and the state government to assist them with grants or loans to enable them to boost their production capacity.

The farmers made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki.

They decried lack of financial assistance to the small scale poultry farmers saying that the development was not encouraging local poultry production in the state.

Mr Jude Mbam, a poultry farmer at number 18 Ije Avenue in Abakaliki said that bird farming was rewarding but noted that it was capital intensive.

Mbam, who started poultry farming in 2015, said that he was yet to receive any financial grant or loan from government.

He said that the state government usually provided financial incentives to encourage local poultry farmers but regretted that the grants or loan facilities allegedly ended up in wrong hands.

Mbam, a graduate of Economics at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria said that he went into poultry farming to fight unemployment but later developed interest in the business.

"I started poultry farming business in 2015 after searching for job in the labour market without success.

"The business is very lucrative, I keep a batch of 500 broilers, but it is time, energy and financially demanding," Mbam said.

He called on government to develop a water-tight measure that would deter wrong people or non-farmers who allegedly hijack these programmes and prevented the real farmers from benefitting from these assisted agricultural grants or loan facilities.

Another farmer, Mr Benjamin Nnamdi said that lack of financial incentive, absence of enough qualified veterinary doctors to treat birds when infected were major challenges facing poultry farmers in Abakaliki.

He said that the increasing demand for poultry was widening daily in Abakaliki due to presence of many eateries and hotels in the city.

"The poultry market is widening on a daily basis due to the proliferation of eateries and hotels and many people are shying away from red meat these days.

"The need for poultry farmers to increase production capacity becomes imperative but the fund to facilitate the business is always not easily accessible," Nnamdi said.

Mr Charles Onwe, who is into egg business, said that money to expand the business was not available.

Onwe said he had 400 layers that produced 370 eggs a day adding that he hoped to increase the capacity if he received funds.

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