It was good news for farmers and stakeholders in the poultry sub-sector when it was revealed at the poultry summit that was held in Abuja, when some breeders from the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), located at Shika, Kaduna State, disclosed that they are working on a new breed of broilers that would stand the test of time.
An experienced poultry farmer with NAPRI, Elizabeth Adejoh-Ubani stated that farmers in the country would not have to go out of the shores of Nigeria to buy day-old broilers as the new breed could “stand the taste of time”. The institute, which is well known for its research on the development of the “Shika” Brown of chicken, is set to add the new breed of broilers to its stock of birds. However, stakeholders are of the opinion that the new broiler breed would not suffer lack of fund for multiplication like the case of Shika brand, which allegedly affected widespread adoption and access by farmers.
Adejoh-Ubani added that the ongoing broiler project would change the dynamics in the industry and increase farmers’ access to good broiler breed, saying the “Research is going on in broilers, and I am proud to say that I am one of the researchers doing the broiler project. Honestly, you will not have to go out of the country to import day-old chicks. We are working on a breed of broilers we believe would be able to stand the test of time”, she said.
It was gathered that the institute registered the Shika Brown, but the breed did not have wider penetration despite being tested across the six geopolitical zones with good results even though some farmers saw the development as commendable while others expressed concern that poor funding, which characterised research institutes across the country, may make the broiler project not any different from the famous Shika Brown breeds. The breeder said the breed could be available soon provided that funds were released by the government and pleaded with the Federal Government to fund the project accordingly, citing the successful breeding of the Shika Brown chicken project.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Abdullahi Aliyu, who expressed sadness over the situation with the Shika Brown, said the current administration was working to change the narrative, adding that the “issue of political will is no longer an issue”. He said, “About Shika Brown, I was in active service and in the middle of that subject matter, but it is also a reminder of some of the sad narratives of our Nigerian story. In 1997 when it was released after all the multi-locational trials in six geopolitical zones, it showed that it could perform well, but it required time for people to continue to use it for it to continue to receive research attention, but unfortunately, it never happened”, he stated.
FarmingFarmersFarms gathered that the CBN in October, said that as part of its responsibility to ensure price stability and boost liquidity in the Nigerian foreign exchange market by interventions from time to time. Importers of all the 43 items previously restricted by the 2015 circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/010 and its addendums, are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market, the apex bank had stated. Some of the affected items include rice, cement, margarine, palm kernel, palm oil products, vegetable oils, meat and processed meat products, vegetables and processed vegetable products, poultry, tomatoes/tomato paste, soap, cosmetics, and head pans. Hence, lifting of the ban means that importers of these items can now freely purchase forex from the official window at cheaper rates.