Agriculture as Catalyst for Industrial Growth
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Director General Prof Longmas Wapmuk ,said that agriculture is a catalyst for industrial growth and the POULTRY sub-sector has the greatest potential.
Prof. Longmas Wapmuk, said this at the inauguration of the capacity building programme for clusters of poultry farmers in Plateau State
Using 2011 as the base year, the poultry industry alone contributes about 25 per cent of the agricultural GDP with an estimated N512 billion commercial production N320 family rural production as at 2011. The Poultry sub sector of the industry holds the greatest potential.
With an estimated commercial production at N512 billion and family rural production of N320 billion as at 2011, poultry has become a gold mine.
The poultry industry alone contributes about 25 per cent of the agricultural GDP.
Production stands at 553,000 tonnes of eggs and 708,000 tonnes of broiler meat as at 2011. It has been generally predicted that due to rising population and living standard, there will be an increase of about 23 per cent growth in the industry between now and 2015.
The mandate of the ITF is to encourage acquisition of skills in various sectors of the economy; that is why it is organising training with the Poultry Association of Nigeria.
He said that a study conducted in conjunction with the UNIDO in 2013, revealed that there was an acute shortage of skills in the agriculture sector in Nigeria.
This, according to him, has been limiting the agriculture sector from the actualisation of the ample potential for employment generation, wealth creation and poverty alleviation. The capacity building workshop for registered poultry farmers in Plateau was free of charge.
He said that the basic intention was to equip the farmers with technical and management capacity to deliver quality products to all Nigerians at affordable prices.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Plateau Poultry Farmers Association, Julius Gusan, said that members of the association, were grateful to the ITF for the one-week training programme.
He said that members of the association in Plateau had passed through years of anxiety, uncertainty and challenges to their economic survival sue to the spate of insecurity.
Gusan noted that Plateau was the home of poultry production in the West Africa sub-region and had the highest number of small and medium scale poultry farms.
Meanwhile, the Plateau Commissioner for Agriculture, Nanven Barko, said at the inauguration that the state government has sustained its disease surveillance and control programmes, which, he said had been “ highly beneficial” to farmers.
He said that the government, for the past three years, had funded the control of `Newcastle’ disease in rural poultry through a statewide vaccination programme.
Barko said that the government distributed N1.2 million worth of vaccines during its statewide campaign for prevention of the disease.
He said this had greatly reduced the incidence Newcastle disease in rural poultry, thereby breaking the cycle of transmission to commercial stock.