Grand Ce­re­als to mop up ex­cess eggs in Plateau, Kano states

Daily Trust - - FEATURE - From Has­san Ibrahim, Jos

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.

Crates of eggs

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