Sir Lucky Ikukaiwe, a poultry farmer and Chairman, Sparrow Agro-Vet Services, Warri, Delta, has called for government subsidy on animal feeds to boost production of poultry products in the Niger Delta.
He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Sunday.
He said government needed to also subsidise piggery feeds to enable the people of the region, especially the youths, to participate more in agriculture.
The chairman said increased participation in poultry production and piggery would create jobs and ensure adequate supply of protein needs of the people.
According to him, the Niger Delta region has more comparative advantages over other zones in the country in poultry farming, piggery and fish farming.
He added that “in this region, we have very good weather for poultry. ”
Ikukaiwe said that the people of the region, especially the youths, had been distracted for a very long time such that their focus had been misdirected.
He said that except for the oil spillage in the region, the Niger Delta environment was suitable for fish farming.
He noted that “the problem we are having in the Niger Delta is that we are looking at where we should not be looking.
“We do not have the comparative advantage for maize cultivation like the northern part of the country with its vast land mass but we have good weather for poultry, fish farming and piggery.”
The farmer said that for the youths to be properly engaged, states in the region should concentrate on areas they had comparative advantage.
“This region can produce all the poultry products, fish and pork needed in this country because our environment is suitable for it.
“What obtained in the past was a situation where government acquired and gave day old chicks to some ‘political farmers’ in the name of empowerment and leaving the real farmers.
“With subsidy, the true farmers will buy more birds and feeds and produce more,” Ikukaiwe said.