The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has commissioned a Demonstration Cottage Poultry Processing Facility to set the pace for the transformation of the livestock sub-sector in line with international best practices as well as provide a clean and hygienic environment for the processing of the birds in the best interest of consumers.
Speaking during the commissioning of a Cottage Poultry Processing Facility at Dei Dei livestock market in Abuja on the Monday 22nd day of November, 2021, Dr. Abubakar said that ‘’ there is numerous and diverse potentials within the poultry value chain which have provided ample opportunities and raw material for small, medium and large scale businesses to thrive in Nigeria thus creating numerous jobs, increasing means of livelihood and also improving nutrition in several Nigerian homes’’. As such, the Minister stated that it was time to ensure that the markets should provide healthy protein to the public to maintain a healthy population.
Dr. Abubakar stated that, the Food and Agriculture Organization( FAO) report that Nigeria is the largest annual egg producer with the second-largest chicken population in Africa amounting to about 180 million birds adding that about 44% are raised in extensive systems, 33% in semi-intensive, and 23% in intensive systems’’ which makes the industry a priority and an asset to protect.
He pointed out that “currently over 85 Million people are involved in one form of poultry business or another making intervention in the poultry sector imperative for job creation and income generation for farmers, processors and marketers as well as for the country’’.
The minister appealed to states and local Governments to adopt the project and replicate same in their domains for the benefit of the people.
In a goodwill message, Chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, Alhaji Munir DanAgundi, commended the ministry for constructing the facility, noting that it will create more opportunities for the poultry farmers to operate in a more hygienic environment and sell to the public healthy and quality protein.
In her welcome address, Director, Animal Husbandry Services Department in the Ministry, Dr. Winnie Solarin said that the cottage poultry processing facility would fast-track the practices in the livestock sub sector towards creating more jobs, increase production and boost revenue for poultry farmers. She also added that the initiative would ensure better practices in the processing and storage of poultry products.
The processing facility also has a cold room meant for the preservation of the processed poultry products.
In a related event, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mahmood Abuabakar commissioned a Communication Center and also laid the foundation for the Administrative Block at the Council’s Headquarters in Abuja. While commissioning the project, the Minister said that, ‘’ the facility comprises of a digital museum and documentation center for referencing agricultural research information and knowledge; an electronic library to aid research by providing greater access to recent advances in agricultural sciences; and the television and radio stations, which will link millions of Nigerian farmers and stakeholders to first hand agricultural information’’.
‘‘the building meant to house 27 offices will serve as office space for some staff of the council and international research stakeholders. The use of the facility is expected to strengthen research collaborations as well as provide a platform for timely dissemination of agricultural information and showcasing of agricultural interventions in the country”.
The Minister noted that ‘’ the recent signing into law of the ARCN Amendment Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari has placed additional responsibilities on the Council, to form linkages with all international donor agencies which makes it mandatory for the council to accommodate some of these agencies within its premises as obtainable in other countries”.
He informed that ‘’ all the Research Institutes and Colleges to activate all the adopted Villages and Outreach Centers across the country, which are formidable tools for the dissemination of technologies to agrarian communities and to support the drive of the Ministry toward a strengthened extension services delivery in the country.
In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, lauded the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s diversification policy which is geared towards food sufficiency ,job creation and economic growth ‘’ we must improve our research to enhance better food produce and increase income for local farmers’’.
Speaking at the event also, Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu said the project “is an achievement, a dream come true to reposition the research council for optimal performance. He added that the Senate has passed a good number of bills, assented by Mr. President and charged the staff to be more committed and dedicated to their duties.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Garba Sharunbutu, had said that the establishment of the communication system will assist in the dissemination of information across to farmers and to have proper documentation of modern research findings for improved crop production and yields.
In other separate events that took place at the Ministry, the Minister received the Ambassadors of China in Nigeria and his Cuban counterpart, His Excellency, Ambassador Chi Jianchun and Her Excellency Mrs. Clara Pulido Escandell, who were on a courtesy call to Minister to discuss areas of cooperation, collaboration and investment between Nigeria and their respective countries.