In fulfillment of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two international companies: Heifer International and Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited, to boost the poultry value chain development in the State, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has laid the foundation stones for the 10,000 poultry birds processing plant in Obayantor Community, Edo State.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, Obaseki stated that it has always been the dream of his administration to return Edo State to its pride of place in agricultural production in Nigeria.
He emphasized that Edo State has all that is required to produce the various inputs in poultry production.
Very often, poultry farmers in the State have had to travel to Ibadan in Oyo State to purchase day-old birds and other inputs they require, and the Governor expressed worry over the development and said that unemployment will persist if “we import what we can produce” adding “We cannot continue this way, to produce poultry products is not rocket science.”
To sustain poultry production, the State Government in collaboration with Prime Food has invested in animal feed production in the State to check the shortage of animal feed, and Obaseki noted that the factory would soon provide more than enough feed for Edo farmers.
The Governor was accompanied to the ceremony by members of his cabinet, including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Peter Aikhuomoghogbe, Director Animal Husbandry, Otamere Eno, Chairman Poultry Association of Nigeria, Mr. Kingsley Imasuen, and members of the host community.
Commending Heifer International and Amo Farms for partnering with the Edo State Government, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Stephen Idehenre, said the initiative will boost poultry meat production and improve the value chain in Edo State.
He said that the Heifer International Nija Unlock Project will support over 200,000 farmers in the State by 2050 with production, support input and training.
He declared it “a new dawn in poultry development in Edo State, with a guaranteed off-take arrangement for the broiler farmers” who before now had limited production cycles due to poor off-take.
Idehenre commended the Governor for his visionary leadership which is repositioning the State as an agricultural hub by attracting both local and international partners across the value chain.
He listed “the ongoing resuscitation of the Bendel Feed and Flour Mill now known as Prime Feed and Flour Mill, the World Bank-assisted Livestock Productivity and Resilient Support, and the tree crop Sub-sector under the Edo State Oil Palm Program (ESOPP)” as some of the revolutionary initiatives of the Obaseki administration in agriculture.
The Country Director, Heifer Nigeria, Mr. Rufus Idris, stated that Edo has the required factors to ensure sustainability, transform lives, and ensure impact for the project.
He highlighted the strong collaboration with the State Government which made it the first State targeted for the Nija Unlock Program which will see one million smallholder farmers benefit by 2025 and two million by 2030.
Mr. Idris also expressed appreciation to the State Government for its tremendous efforts to make Edo a poultry hub for poultry production, processing and distribution, adding that smallholder farmers will be the biggest beneficiaries.
According to him, “Heifer is only a catalyst to facilitate the partnership with AMO Farms, largely funded by the Edo State Government to make this vision of 10,000 poultry birds a day processing facility a reality with plans to achieve five million birds a day”.
The Group General Manager AMO Farms Dr. Ayoola Odutun, said that in four years, the Obayantor processing plant will be the biggest in Nigeria, with more capacity than the Ibadan, Kaduna, and Uyo plants.
Mr. Obasuyi Sam, a leader in the community commended the State government and its partners for attracting the poultry processing plant to Obayantor Community.
He assured that the community is open to more development and projects, and is willing to support in any capacity that will bring the government closer to its people.