The Guardian (Nigeria)
‘Why we are investing in the poultry industry value-chain’
CONTRARY to concerns raised by local poultry farmers about facing stiff competition with the sudden entrance of Olam Group in the sector, the group has explained that its investments are in the value-chain and not related to commercial broiler growing and selling of live birds.
Indeed, the firm explained that its investment seeks to bridge the demand gap Day-old Chicks (DOC), and Feed business, while providing technical farm management support to all categories of farmers.
Olam’s N30 billion poultry feed mills and hatchery farms in Kaduna were inagurated in 2017, by President Muhammadu Buhari, primarily to produce poultry feeds and chicks for local poultry farmers.
Local farmers had expressed concerns that the company was using its resources to manipulate the market and that soon, many poultry farmers would close down because nobody will invest in the sector.
However, Olam noted that it has not built any layer
farm and neither does it intend to build any.
“Since Olam is in DOC and Feed business, we sell and provide technical and farm management support to all category of farmers, including some large farmers. We also support the revival of moribund farms, in order to put the investments made by the local Nigerian farmers, entrepreneurs to productive use, and generate employment for the local community.
“Last year, we received a request from specific moribund layer farm to help revive its operation. Olam helped the local Nigerian farmer to revive the farm by providing technical support and farm management processes.
“Olam is concerned about the low per capita egg consumption impacting small-hold farmers. We suggest PAN should start a media campaign to promote egg usage with support from all members, and we will be more than willing to contribute towards it. We would wholeheartedly work with PAN, farmers and all other concerned bodies in this endeavour”, the firm added.
It would be recalled that the Ogun State Government had recently charged poultry farmers to forge a strong alliance to check the instability in the price of poultry feeds in the country.
Olam also explained that it introduced laser beak trimming and full Hatchery vaccination and provided this for all its DOC at no additional cost.
“This resulted in considerable savings in on-farm vaccination, and beak trimming costs, and reduction in mortality.
“Through market surveys done by our field veterinarians, we found that most small farmers struggled due to lack of working capital to help them with proper rearing of the young birds. Recognising this lapse, Olam introduced its Point-of-lay (POL) in the market, by reviving moribund farms. This enabled the farmer to provide employment to the community surrounding these farms”, it added.