Olam’s N20bn poultry hatch­ery, feeds projects ‘ready next month’ -‘It’s good for the North’- AFAN -Play­ers ex­press worry

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Hussein Ya­haya, Vin­cent A. Yusuf & Sa­fina Buhari

To an av­er­age poultry farmer and pro­ducer of feeds in the North, the news that Olam, a com­pany with mas­sive in­vest­ment in rice and other crops, is now also en­ter­ing the poultry in­dus­try, is a cheer­ing one but which has left some oth­ers quite un­easy.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Daily Trust, Mr. Ade Ade­feko, Vice Pres­i­dent, Cor­po­rate and Gov­ern­ment Re­la­tions, Olam Nigeria, said the com­pany will in Septem­ber, com­mis­sion its in­te­grated poultry farm and an­i­mal feed mill in Kaduna, which he said will in­clude the largest hatch­eries to pro­duce day-old chicks in the coun­try.

He said when com­mis­sioned, the mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar in­vest­ment will utilise around 180,000 tonnes of corn and 75,000 tonnes of soya beans, thereby boost­ing the farm­ing of the crops and con­tribut­ing to the de­vel­op­ment of the Nige­rian poultry and aqua­cul­ture sec­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the 50,000 met­ric tonnes of on­site stor­age, in ad­di­tion to a sim­i­lar ca­pac­ity of out­sourced stor­age, will sup­port food se­cu­rity and price sta­bil­i­sa­tion for farm­ers, adding that train­ing on farm­ing prac­tices will be of­fered to farm­ers in col­lab­o­ra­tion with fed­eral, state and non-gov­ern­men­tal agen­cies to in­crease farm yields and crop prof­itabil­ity.

Ade­feko added that the project, which gulped about US$100 mil­lion), will have a state-of-the-art an­i­mal feed mill, poultry breed­ing farms and hatch­ery to pro­duce day-old-chicks. It is lo­cated in Chikpiri Gabas vil­lage, Gwag­wada, in Kaduna State.

When fully op­er­a­tional, he said, over one mil­lion high-qual­ity lay­ers (for eggs) and broil­ers (for meat) be pro­duced weekly.

He said the feed mill will have ca­pac­ity of 300,000 tonnes per an­num to offer com­pet­i­tively-priced and spe­cially for­mu­lated feeds for lo­cal poultry farm­ers. He added that the com­pany would pro­vide ve­teri­nary field sup­port for lo­cal poultry farm­ers in part­ner­ship with InVivo An­i­mal Nutri­tion & Health.

Ade­feko said in part­ner­ship with the Kaduna State Gov­ern­ment, the com­pany is de­vel­op­ing a model for sup­ply­ing chicken, meat and eggs for its schools meals pro­gramme at be­low-mar­ket prices.

“Also, a Cor­po­rate Re­spon­si­bil­ity and Sus­tain­abil­ity (CRS) agenda cov­er­ing ed­u­ca­tion, health and san­i­ta­tion will be cre­ated in part­ner­ship with neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties and an in­te­grated rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing pro­gramme will help the site meet its wa­ter re­quire­ments and so­lar power gen­er­a­tion fa­cil­i­ties will re­duce de­pen­dence on fos­sil fuel based en­ergy,” Ade­feko said.

Some of the poultry farm­ers, who spoke with Daily Trust, ex­pressed op­ti­mism that the project would be a game changer for the poultry business in the coun­try, adding that there is none like it in the North.

Ar­chi­tect Kabiru Ibrahim, Pres­i­dent of All Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nigeria (AFAN) and a one-time pres­i­dent of Poultry As­so­ci­a­tion of Nigeria (PAN) stated that it is a good thing for Nigeria that Olam has set up this farm.

“It is a breeder farm and they are go­ing to be sup­ply­ing 1.2 mil­lion pul­lets weekly and they are do­ing broil­ers as well,” he said.

Arc Kabiru noted that he does not see Olam’s pres­ence in the poultry sec­tor as a threat to small­holder farm­ers but rather a chal­lenge to the large scale poultry farm­ers.

“No, it is not a threat to small pro­duc­ers, it’s a threat to the big play­ers be­cause small farm­ers would even get the pul­lets cheap and they would also have feed be­cause they are also pro­duc­ing feed there. There is no monopoly, we are 200 mil­lion peo­ple. Their ca­pac­ity is very high so peo­ple would buy feed, it would be cheaper than what you buy from other places,” Kabiru told Daily Trust.

The farm­ers’ leader stressed: “In the North here, we don’t have any­thing like that, the business was mo­nop­o­lised by the South West, we have to buy our pul­lets from there, our feeds also. Only few feed com­pa­nies are here in Kaduna and they are not play­ing very well.

So if any­body is com­ing here to play in the North, that per­son is go­ing to have a breeder farm, that farm is go­ing to help us get good day old chicks. If they are go­ing to pro­duce feed also, they are go­ing to di­lute the mar­ket and the prices would come down,” he em­pha­sized.

Ab­dul­gaf­far Bashir Gula, a poultry farmer in Katsina, stated that de­pend­ing on the ser­vices they are go­ing to offer, “I see it as a de­vel­op­ment for the north­ern part of the

Point of lay birds

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