‘We are producing 40m birds, creating 100,000 jobs by 2025’
To meet the food demand of Nigeria and make sources of cheaper and healthier protein available while tackling malnutrition, a produce processing and exporting firm, Agricorp International, unfolded plans to produce 40 million birds by 2025.
According to a 2019 report by the Central Bank of Nigeria, it was estimated that over 1.2 million metric tonnes of poultry meat were smuggled into Nigeria from the Benin Republic.
This opens a huge gap in the poultry market and Agricorp said it is ready to contribute its quota to the efforts to close the gap.
This was as the firm disclosed it was investing N4 billion into acquiring strategic poultry production facilities across three states in the country.
The move would help to deepen livestock production, processing and eventual export while providing employment and reducing the poultry meat deficit in Nigeria.
Since its launch in 2018, Agricorp has specialised in the production and processing of spices through which it has empowered over 5000 smallholder farmers and helped increase their income by about 20 per cent while providing them with better market access.
The firm called on Nigerian youths to join the agricultural value chain, saying it was ready to provide them with the requisite skills and capacity through its ‘Project Eclipse 2025,’ a poultry development programme.
Co-founder and CEO, Kenneth Obiajulu, said with the project, it aimed to invest over N20 billion in the production, processing and eventual export of poultry products.
“This investment is expected to provide direct and indirect employment for an estimated 100,000 Nigerian youths by 2025. It will also aid the promotion of sustainable economic growth for the country, reduce the pressure of importing poultry products and provide productive employment and decent work for youths, 50 per cent of whom will be women,” he said.
Having executed the pilot phase of its poultry programme in Q3 2021, Agricorp said it achieved mortality rates of between five to seven per cent across its various farm locations with an overall 100 per cent off-take rate from its partners.
According to Obiajulu, said: “The rising inflation rate in food and agricultural produce poses a challenge that stares us in the face. Our dependence on imported food items also contributes to the pressure on foreign exchange. Investing N4 billion in 142 poultry pens across Kwara, Kogi and Nasarawa States will boost local poultry production by at least 3 million poultry birds yearly.
Wale Omotimirin, Agricorp’s co-founder, added: “This is a massive project for the business. We have an ambitious goal to produce 40 million poultry birds by 2025, which will represent approximately four per cent of the projected yearly demand.”
He said the business had demonstrated good faith by making its first commitment and investment.”