Grand Cereals to mop up excess eggs in Plateau, Kano states
Grand Cereals Nigeria Limited would buy excess eggs in Plateau State and distribute them to schools, the company’s Managing Director, Mr Layi Oyatoki, has said.
Oyatoki stated this while receiving members of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Plateau State chapter, in Jos.
He said the company, which produces vital feeds, would help to mop up the eggs by buying from main users of its feeds.
“We are going to buy eggs, mainly from farmers who are using Vital Feeds, because charity must begin at home, and then donate it to school children.
“We are going to do that very soon as the marketing manager and his team put their heads together to develop the modalities on how to carry out the exercise. We will work with PAN to see how many crates we are going to buy; we will see how we can share that number of crates amongst our farmers in the state.”
He said that the same thing would be done in Kano State because the state was also affected by egg glut, adding that “the Kano State Government had also approached us and we will also heed their call.”
Oyatoki said the mopping of the eggs, however, would only be a temporary measure, adding that there are very fundamental issues that needed to be addressed for the problem to be tackled permanently.
He suggested adequate awareness creation to enhance the consumption of eggs and other poultry products, adding: “Take for instance, South Africa, which is like onethird of Nigeria’s population, consumes eggs three times more than Nigeria. One of the reasons is that our people cannot afford the eggs we produce in Nigeria because they are too expensive. And we cannot blame the sellers because the cost of the feeds is very high and that is equally because the raw materials used in producing feeds are very expensive as well.”
He said those that can afford to buy eggs do not buy enough of it because they believed eggs contained cholesterol.
He said there was need to educate consumers that eggs are not hazardous as scientists have recently proven, advising that PAN and feed manufacturers should collaborate to reduce the prices of eggs and poultry meat.
He urged the association to fashion out measures to end the glut, saying: “PAN can also do something on its own, if you get customers outside Jos, like in Abuja, Grand Cereals can transport the eggs free of charge for you to go and sell. This can break the power of the middlemen who are making money at the expense of the farmers.”
Oyatoki called on Plateau State Government to also assist the farmers as it did in 2012 when the government released N30 million to mop up excess eggs.
He identified insecurity in the North-east zone as one of the factors adversely affecting the industry. “Before now, a lot of eggs were going to Cameroon and Niger, but because of the Boko Haram bombings and killings, nobody wants to take that risk again,” he said.
In his remark, the state Chairman of PAN, Mr Julius Gusan, who sought the intervention of the company and commended it for responding positively, said the step taken by Grand Cereals would significantly tackle the glut.
He appealed to feed millers and other stakeholders to help the farmers, calling on the company to organise capacity building workshops for the poultry farmers.