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In a bid to put further restrategise with the fast evolving agricultural sector in the World, The Lagos State Chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), has urged the three tiers of the Nigerian Government to further prioritise and implement the agriculture sector in order to balance out the impact of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Godwin Egbebe, The group’s chairman made this statement at the PAN’s two-day annual symposium on Wednesday in Lagos with the theme: “Post COVID-19 Effects on Poultry Industry – Way Out.”
He had poosited that the symposium became pertinent to equip poultry farmers on the ways to overcome the challenges they face in the sector.
“We are all aware of what has become of the poultry industry post-COVID-19 and we are here to talk about the way out.
“The prices of grains keep skyrocketing which in turn is making feed price to change on a weekly or sometimes daily basis like a moving train.
“I want to use this medium to call on both the federal and state governments to take agriculture as a priority over every other sector in order not to make our nation an angry nation because a hungry nation is an angry nation.
“The poultry industry is the worst hit of every business because of its volatility. Farms are closing daily and people losing their jobs and thrown into already saturated labor market.
“I am, however, very confident that after this program with the caliber of discussants and if the government and the people are willing to follow the recommendation from this program things will get better and we shall all smile again,” Egbebe said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, said that understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector would help the government to formulate relevant policies. She also said that the ministry would support the poultry industry owing to its contribution to the agriculture sector Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
She was represented by Mr George Tanimowo, Head of Component (Extension Component)/Project Officer, Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority.
“The poultry industry was not left out from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Nigerian poultry sector provides livelihood and employment to Lagos residents and the entire country.
“With a population of 180 million birds, the sector has been the major provider of animal protein contributing to the nutritional security of all age groups.
“The Nigerian poultry industry contributes approximately 25 per cent to the nation’s agriculture sector GDP.
“This is why the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poultry industry is necessary to talk about.
“Holistic understanding of the effect of the pandemic on the sector will help to draw appropriate policies and device strategies to boost the sector.
“High cost of feed, loss of birds and inability to pay farm workers were some of the challenges facing the sector post-COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.