Agribusiness

Heifer International launches poultry devpt project to lift families out of poverty in Edo State

*Signs MoU with Edo State Govt and Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Ltd

In its bid to address the systemic constraints responsible for Nigeria’s poultry sector underperformance and unlock more opportunities for smallholder farmers, Heifer International is collaborating with the Edo State Government and Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited, to empower 500,000 smallholder poultry farmers by 2030, through linkages to improved but environmental friendly poultry production practices and innovations, new premium market opportunities, and innovative financing.

 

 

Heifer International is a global nonprofit development organization on a mission to end hunger and poverty sustainably by working with farmers and their communities around the world. Through its signature program “Naija Unlock” in Nigeria, Heifer International is working to unlock demand and market opportunities for smallholder farmers. It is investing in priority value chains with the potential to address the country’s food security challenges and boost the living income of smallholder farmers, supporting farmers to accelerate local food production capacity to substitute the current high level of food import.

 

 

In Nigeria, food production has not kept pace with population growth, resulting in rising food imports, declining national food self-sufficiency and increased struggle to obtain adequate food. Poultry is one of the priority value chains where this is the case. Nigeria’s poultry sector, a $4.2 billion industry, is witnessing a rise in demand for poultry meat and egg, driven by increasing population, urbanization and government policies among others. Nigeria consumes about 1.5 million tons of chicken annually but only 30% of that is produced locally.

 

The Government of Nigeria has maintained a ban on poultry imports since 2003 which continues to have a positive effect on domestic production and processing, although, a high proportion of domestic consumption continues to be met by imports of frozen chicken smuggled into the country through land borders from neighboring Benin Republic. More so, the devaluation of the Naira and rapid fall in the value of the local currency against the US Dollar is making frozen chicken imports more expensive and unprofitable, hence, creating real opportunities to satisfy the rising demand with domestic production.

 

Heifer International has entered a partnership with the Edo State Government to support 200,000 farmers by 2025 and 500,000 farmers by 2030, to engage in the production of noiler and broiler chicken, while a private sector partner, Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited will guarantee sustainable off-take of the chickens produced by the farmers. Under this partnership, Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited will establish a standard poultry processing plant, starting with a 10,000 chicken-per-day capacity in Edo State. Edo state is known for its large number of smallholder poultry farmers constrained by poor market access due to the absence of a structured market or off-taker in the state.

 

Edo State is very strategic to Heifer Nigeria’s mission of ending hunger and poverty, and helping 2 million families to reach a living income by 2030. Edo is located in one of the poorest regions in Nigeria, with poverty heavily concentrated in rural areas. This remains a strong factor driving cases of human trafficking and forced migration at an unprecedented scale in the state. A sustainable solution is to promote and support feasible livelihood and economic opportunities for vulnerable smallholder farmers, vulnerable families, returnees, and potential victims of human trafficking.

 

Wife of Edo State Governor and First Lady of the State, Mrs. Betsy Obasaki’s has committed to making Edo State a poultry hub along the entire poultry value chain, from production up to having processed birds on the table, while integrating rural women across Edo State into the supply chain. Through the First Lady’s Rural Empowerment Program, she aims to help improve the quality of life across Edo State, targeting women poultry smallholder farmers and other vulnerable groups to improve their incomes, create employment opportunities and reduce poverty across the state. Edo State government’s vision is to make the state a poultry hub that produces and processes 5 million chickens per week, creating business and employment opportunities for its citizens, while helping the nation address its food security challenges.

 

According to Rufus Idris, Nigeria Country Director of Heifer International: “Major poultry processors and off-takers are located hundreds of kilometers away from Edo, making such market inaccessible for Edo poultry farmers. Hence, farmers have to sell their chickens in the open market at prices that are not profitable in the long run”.

 

“Today marks a major milestone in the Nigerian poultry sector, as this partnership has birthed a revolutionary initiative designed to expand the operation of Nigeria’s leading poultry processor to Edo State through the establishment of a world-class processing plant that will immediately unlock the market for smallholder poultry farmers in Edo and neighbouring states as they can now produce with confidence to sell to a guaranteed premium market and earn a sustainable living income,” said Idris.

 

“The initiative will impact 500,000 farmers, create more than 850 jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for youths and women, and increase farmers’ access to innovative finance, infrastructure, and innovation,” Idris added.

 

On his part, Edo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Stephen Idehenre reiterated the commitment of Edo State government to make the state the biggest poultry hub in Nigeria.

 

“The essence of the partnership with Heifer International and Amo farm is to create a market for our poultry farmers. We have identified one of the problems of farmers which is the lack of access to the market, and we have now brought in a major off-taker which is Amo farms to offtake and process made-in-Edo chicken, starting with about 10,000 poultry birds per day with a plan to scale-up as farmers’ production capacity. We anticipate that most of those abandoned poultry farms will be revived because there is now a ready market,” said Idehenre.

 

Amo Farm MD/CEO, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan commended the Edo State Government and Heifer International for collaborating to attract the company to Edo State and for helping to de-risk the massive investment the company is making in the state.

 

“The State Government and Heifer have teamed up to support smallholder poultry farmer coordination and capacity building to produce good quality and quantity of chickens required to sustain the supply chain requirement of the processing plant, support farming cluster development and access to innovative finance for farmers, provide enabling environment, infrastructure, and connection to the Ossiomo Independent Power Plant, which is dedicated to providing power to the Benin Industrial and Enterprise Park and guaranteeing up to 22 hours per day power supply,” said Dr. Oduntan.

 

The signing ceremony of the project’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the three key partners – Edo State Government, Heifer International, and Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited, is to formally commence the implementation of the project in the Edo State.

 

 

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About Heifer International

 

 

Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with rural communities across Africa for 48 years, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income. For more information, visit https://www.heifer.org.

 

About Edo State

Edo State founded on the 27th day of August 1991 with Benin City as its capital, is one of the 36 states that make up the Federal Republic of Nigeria. For information, visit https://www.edostate.gov.ng/

 

About Amo Farm

 

Amo Farm was established in 2003 to produce and supply high quality animal protein and associated inputs in Nigeria and African countries. Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited produces and markets animal protein under the brand “natnudO”, has the widest distribution and coverage in the animal protein space in Nigeria, is a market leader in the day-old chicks market; through exceptional quality products and innovative services, and is the only chicken breeding company in Nigeria that developed and has patent to the rural smallholder farmer friendly chicken named “Noiler”. For information, visit https://afshltd.com/

 

 

 

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