Nigeria’s federal government has disclosed new plans to strengthen and solidify its wobbling agricultural sector in 2022 through enhanced provision of agricultural incentives and maintenance of existing agricultural institutions across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Mohammed Abubakar, minister of agriculture and rural development said the measure is to give more impetus for the realization of food security and intercontinental food production, adding that the federal government has also taken a resolution to empower women and youths through poultry agriculture in order to elevate self-economic reliance among them.
He stated this when he commissioned an ultra-modern rubber rural resources centre with a new processing technology at Ndioko Izombe, and a 1000 capacity poultry farm at Umuelem and Umuokoro Umuihi, in the Oguta and Ihitte Uboma local government areas of Imo State.
Iwuchukwu Onyema, a director in the Imo State Ministry of Agriculture, who represented the minister of agriculture and rural development, emphasized the importance of the two facilities, saying that rubber is an essential raw material that is used in the creation of more than 40,000 products, including medical devices, surgical gloves, aircraft and car tyres, as well as pacifiers, clothes and toys, but poultry farming, which contributes to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increases domestic income.
Dwelling extensively on the importance of poultry farming, the minister explained that a recently released economic study indicated that 1.6 million jobs emanate from poultry farming in the USA, just as rubber, which is a natural product produced from a tree called Hevea Brasiliensis is useful in a number of ways in society.
According to him: “The Nigerian poultry industry comprises about 180 million birds. Of these, 80 million chickens are raised in extensive systems, 60 million in semi-intensive, and the remaining 40 million in intensive systems. Poultry production in Nigeria amounts up to 300 MT of meat and 650 MT eggs per year.”