DR Olugbenga Ogunwole of the Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, during a one-day workshop organised by the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in Ibadan recently, said for the poultry and animal production sectors to fully boost the economy, create employment and ensure food security, they must be research-driven.
The poultry sector, he said, is one of the sustainable and decent employers of labour in Nigeria, and has a predictable and high return on investment across the value chain of breeding, production, feeding production and supply chains.
Ogunwole, however, said challenges of the poultry production sector such as vagaries of weather, poor elasticity of production, high cost of poultry feeds and vaccination, poor production efficiency, sub-standard inputs and activities of quacks parading themselves as professionals, among others, had encumbered the growth of the sector and hence the economy.
On how the sector could boost the economy, especially in hard times as now, Ogunwole said affordable labour, high demand for eggs, poults and increasing demand for cheaper sources of protein as the population increases and urban dwellers surges were factors energizing the poultry industry to contribute to the local production, processing and utilization of the products.
As the way forward, he suggested four strategies to make the industry competitive. The sector, he emphasized, had to be effectively linked with research institutes and new technologies as obtainable in between the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israeli poultry farmers.
Oyo State chairman of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mr Olabanji Akanji, while talking on the theme, ‘Enhancing Nigerian Economy through Poultry,’ said poultry as an industry had great potential for revamping the Nigeria’s economy if given the needed attention by all stakeholders.