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Saving poultry industry from importers

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While there is an increase in eggs consumption, farmers have also found that there is greater demand for egg power. They are, therefore, asking the government to ban the product’s imports to save the industry, DANIEL ESSIET reports.

Poultry has played a crucial role in the Nigeria’s agriculture sector to achieve food security, income and farmers’welfare.

The market is driven by factors such as an increase in the consumption of animal-based products. This has created opportunities for agro entrepreneurs interested in exploring the sector. So far, the poultry industry has made remarkable progress and grown into an organised and highly productive industry.

One area that is drawing interest is dried egg powder because of its stability and has a long shelf life. The demand is increasing as it is used in fast food preparations, ice-creams, cakes, cookies, noodles, doughnut, among others. Experts believe it can replace the use of fresh eggs in food items and offer convenience and ease of handling as against shell eggs.

As a result, entrepreneurs are setting up egg powder processing as part of poultry business.

Despite this, some importers are bringing in egg power worth over $1 billion yearly.

Currently, some foreign egg producers rely on exports of egg powder, and are looking for buyers everywhere, including Nigeria. To this end, local producers in involved in the manufacture of egg powder have urged the government to ban importation to save the industry. One of them is the Director of Operations, Answer Industry, an egg powder processor in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Mr Samuel Shewoniku.

He said they were not working up to the installed capacity, because of importation.

He said they could still process about 50,000 eggs in a day but that they were not getting enough local buyers.

He said many poultry farmers suffering from egg glut would not if they go into powder production.

He sees the business as a money spinner capable of propelling greater investment in egg production and increasing job opportunities. One market, he highlighted, is that of children in the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps, who he noted, needed eggs, and that powdered eggs could save them from malnutrition, and stunted growth.

The President, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim Mam, said converting eggs into powder forms would not only prevent intermittent fluctuations in demand and post-harvest wastage, but would also attract more investments in the egg production sector. This, he added, would have multiplier effects on job creation and poverty alleviation.

Former PAN National Vice President (Southwest), and now Commissioner for Agriculture in Ekiti State, Prince Adetoyi Olabodehad said it is a good business opportunity.

He said the country is importing more than $1 billion worth of egg powder in a year.

A report said India’s egg products industry relies almost completely on exports of egg powder, with the main markets being Europe and Japan

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