They said this as the world celebrates the 2019 edition of the International Egg Day today.
The enabling environments, they said, include a ban of or restriction of forex for egg powder importation by international and local confectionery companies in Nigeria to curb incessant egg gluts experienced by egg producers in the country.
Part of the enabling environments, the poultry farmers added, are improved power generation and distribution, subsidised feeds ingredients, buying of eggs directly from farmers for the school feeding projects and rural development to reduce the cost of production.
Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mr Agboola Gbemisoye, said every state government should participate in the school feeding programme and should buy eggs directly from the association’s members rather than sourcing the products from contractors who mop unwholesome eggs from hatcheries as edible eggs.
He said another way of stimulating growth in the industry is by establishing egg powder production facilities in the country. This, he added, would spur more investments in egg production, veterinary subsector, feeds milling and egg powder processing equipment.
This would also create additional employment opportunities for millions of Nigerians either directly or indirectly. He specifically called on the government to ban the importation of egg powder.
A former PAN chairman in the state, Mr John Olateru, said Nigeria would continue to build the economy of The Netherlands, from where most of the egg powder is imported, while it suffers economic failure as long as the importation of egg powder is allowed into Nigeria.
He supported the establishment of egg powder machines to encourage local processing. He advised that the government should be courageous enough to extend forex restriction to egg powder importation, increase the tariff for its importation or ban it outright.
Olateru alleged that most of the confectionery companies behind the massive importation have international connections to producer countries, thereby sabotaging the economy of the country.
“All the big confectionery companies have machines to convert locally produced eggs for their production. The government should have the political will, just the political will, to stop massive importation of egg powder. If this is done, the egg sector will be transformed as a catalyst for economic growth,” Olateru said.
Also supporting the idea, Dr Segun Makanjuola, Chairman, Egg Committee of PAN in the state, said the government should include the association as a role player in the school feeding scheme in all states, and rural development and tax reduction should be considered for farmers.
An Extension Service Officer at Animal Care Consult, Oluseun Oyinloye, identified the availability of raw materials and the high cost of feeds ingredients, especially energy and protein sources, as barriers to sustainable poultry production.
He added that poor management practices, an outbreak of poultry diseases and poor economic power of the masses have hampered production and consumption of eggs sustainably.
Mr Tope Oyadeyi, National Sales Manager (Eggs), Big Dutchman Nigeria, however, identified the high cost of feeds, farmers’ tendency to cut corners and the attendant poor results as some of the major challenges.
Egg powder production in Nigeria could help, but overuse of antibiotics, he added, would disqualify most of the eggs produced by farmers.