Poultry farmers want 3 percent interest rate for agric investment

Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) have called on the government to encourage private investor to invest in agriculture by pegging interest rate on borrowing at a maximum of 3 per cent.

The is part of the request made by PAN during a press conference on the situation on the Nigerian poultry industry and way to sustain the growth and development in the industry.

Speaking at the press conference, the National President of PAN, Mr Ezekiel Mam, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the approval of 5000 metric tons of maize for poultry farmers.

He said the Poultry industry in Nigeria is a major player in the agricultural value chain as we uptake about 40 per cent of Maize and 60 per cent of Soybeans produced in the country.

“We are also the major off-takers of rice bran, wheat offal, groundnut cake and others and with our continued determination to create awareness and increase the per capita consumption of poultry products of Nigerians by 50 per cent of our current consumption rate, we are set to create a new revolution in the entire agricultural value chains in Nigeria.”

While making their request, Mr Mam called on the government to “enshrine cohesive policy to encourage private sector investments in agriculture by pegging interest rates on borrowing to this sector to a maximum of 3%(three per cent).”

The poultry farmers called for coordinated collaboration, synergy and interfacing among all the stakeholders in the agricultural value chains.

“Develop a reliable data collection method in order to build reliable all agricultural planning and transparent database for investments.

“Increase the percentage and funding to the Ministries of Agriculture at Federal, State and Local Government levels.

“Increase the funding of Agricultural Research Institutes and appoint monitoring and evaluation committees to ensure that targets are set up with deliverables. The M&E should involve the local community, relevant professional bodies.
monitoring and evaluation committees to ensure that Commodity Associations, Manufacturers and relevant bodies,” Mr Mam said.

PAN further urged the Federal Government to maintain the total ban on the importation of frozen poultry products and ensuring that maximum sanctions and prosecution are meted to violators in order to deter others.

“There should be constant consultation between the various offices of the Government with all the commodity associations to ensure that first hand and undiluted information are brought on board to assist the government to realise its general objectives.

“The Federal Government should allow free duty charge for the importation of poultry machines that are not produced locally rather than the current practice of putting all agricultural equipment on 5 per cent import duty against the previous zero duty for all agricultural equipment,” PAN noted.

PAN requested that the government School Feeding programme which is a deliberate policy to empower our local farmers should be handled by Commodity Associations rather than giving their supplies to contractors.

“The Poultry Association of Nigeria will most appreciate that all poultry products used in the School Feeding Programme should be purchased from the farmers in the various states through the Association.

“The Security situation most especially in the northern part of the country where grains are largely produced. We will government and all stakeholders to move fast to restore security for farmers as without the farmers’ life will be near impossible for people living in the towns and cities,” PAN added.

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