In a frantic effort to ensure improved productivity and affordability in the poultry sector, the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has urged the Federal government to consider a single digit interest rate on agricultural loans obtained by its members.
Frowning at the low consumption rate of egg and poultry meat in the country, the association’s National President, Ezekiel Ibrahim, made the passionate appeal to the federal government in Abuja where he expressed dismay over poultry meats, which ought to be part of every citizen’s daily menu were now perceived as being only for high profile citizens.
He further lamented that the products were only consumed by majority of the populace during festivities and parties.
In his words, “For poultry meat and egg to be part of our daily menu and affordable by majority of the populace, we need to improve our technology for crop production and ensure reduction in the cost of capital in agriculture, which is currently double digits.”
“We are talking of single-digit interest rate while in most European countries, the maximum interest rate is 2%; some are charging point 5% and 1%; even in some African countries, the interest rate is very low. So, we are urging the government, as a source of intervention, to set the interest rate at 5% to agriculture.
“At the moment, the average production of crops per hectare is about 2.5 to 3 tonnes per hectare. In Brazil, we are talking about five tonnes per hectare of maize. Invariably it means the cost of production in Brazil will be very low. It means their poultry meat will be competitive hence almost an average person in Brazil has poultry product on his daily menu.”
He postulated that there are two ways approach to it stressing that as the government reduces the interest rate, farmers should improve crop production. Through such measure, a large number of people will go into poultry production.
Such an approach, according to him, would in a short time make eggs and poultry meat invariably cheaper and affordable for majority of the populace.