The government said it plans to provide egg meals to primary school pupils.
The Ogun State Government has stated that it is considering an egg-based meal programme for primary school pupils in the State in an attempt to provide 30 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of protein, calcium and niacin.
The State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, gave this hint in Abeokuta at the annual fair/ exhibition of the Poultry Association of Nigeria in the South West.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Ayodele Koleade, the Governor disclosed that the consideration was in line with recommendation of the Food and Agricultural Organisation on the consumption of at least an egg a day.
Mr. Amosun listed benefits derivable from regular consumption of poultry products to include improved learning capacity and enhanced academic achievement, reduction of morbidity in children and provision of employment through the stimulation of other industries that service egg production.
“Food and Agricultural Organisation as recommended the consumption of at least an egg per day, but we are in a current situation where per capital egg consumption is less than 20, where an average Nigerian still sees egg as a luxury,” the governor said.
He identified constraint of poultry development to include inadequate supply of quality parent stock and grand-parent stock due to a ban on their importation, the prevalence of quack and sub-standard veterinary drugs in commercial poultry, non-adherence to quality standard in commercial feed mills, and prevalence of adulterated micro ingredient and low investment in large scale processing facilities.
The governor, however, assured that government would continue to partner with the poultry association to achieve success at various levels of production.
Also speaking, the team leader of the poultry transformation agenda, Babafunsho Sonaya, disclosed that the goals of the agenda were to ensure increased production, improve profit of poultry farmers, and generate more jobs.
Mr. Sonaya added that the agenda would also ensure implementation of standard at all levels of poultry production and equally add value to produce from the industry.
“We think that our farmers are suffering because there are no standards. When someone buys 100 chicks and 40 or 50 have died before they reach point of cage, there is no way such a person can make money,” he pointed out.
“We want to help our farmers by ensuring that there are standards at the hatchery so that if you buy 100 chicks, you are sure that when they start laying eggs, you will still have 90 or 95 chicks. That means that you are making money, the same goes for feed production. We want to ensure that there are standards at the feed mills. This is the approach we are taking,” he said.
On alternatives to maize for production of poultry feeds, Mr. Sonaya explained that feed grade cassava grits could be used as alternatives,
calling on government to provide training for feed millers and cassava producers on production of the grits through the extension servicesystem of the State.