The National Egg Production (NEGPRO) plan, a private sector-led and government-supported programme, is meant to create one million job opportunities and prevent recurrent egg gluts in the poultry sector by 2020. But its inability to take proper shape has hampered the expected outcomes.
The Managing Director of Tuns Farms, Osogbo, Chief Olatunde Badmus, disclosed this to The Guardian. The turning-point objective which would have greater effects on poultry farming, Chief Badmus explained, is the plan to convert the excessive production of eggs to egg powder.
The plan would also save foreign exchange worth about 18 billion ($50 million) being spent on importation of egg powder into the country yearly. Egg powder is used by giant confectionary companies in Nigeria as a crucial ingredient in food process processing.
As of today, there is no functional egg powder machine in the country, and poultry farmers do experience gluts, where demand is very low and the price becomes unattractive to the producers, making them sell below production cost most of the times. The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has said the gluts constitute a disincentive to farmers, for most farmers suspend farm operations during or immediately after gluts.
Mr Ibrahim Mam, the national president of PAN, told The Guardian that the negative effects of gluts include loss of profit, closing down of farms, loss of jobs and reduction in the gross domestic products (GDP).
The plan, therefore, is to establish three major egg powder production hubs with one in the south-east/south-south, the other one in the southwest and the third in the north. These hubs are expected to absorb eggs in the six zones and prevent egg gluts, stimulate commercial production of eggs, and sustainably eliminate importation of egg powder as well as increase job opportunities.
Other objectives the scheme is designed to achieve by 2020 include producing 50 million eggs daily and creating a forward integration plan by including eggs to feed the school children through the home-grown School Feeding Programme.
Also important in the scheme is the plan to improve the internally generated revenue (IGR) and support economic diversification of the present government.
As part of the efforts to diversify the economy through the private sector-led integrated agricultural systems, NEGPRO scheme was formally presented by TUNS Farms to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The stakeholders in the scheme include the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, 36 states, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Agriculture, the National Agricultural Insurance Commission (NAIC), and state chapters of the poultry association. The ministry introduced the programme by writing to all the 36 states Governor and also presented at the state council meeting.
Six states of Ondo, Bauchi, Kogi, Cross Rivers, Abia and Kastina were chosen for the pilot phase and the programme was flagged off on 12 January 2018 in Akure, Ondo State.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN