Agriculturists have identified non-availability of funds, low quantity of feed inputs and reduction of participants in the business as major challenges hindering the growth of agriculture.
The experts in separate interviews with the News Agency Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, March 25, 2019 in Ibadan, Oyo State, also called for intensified efforts toward boosting the nation’s economy through the development of livestock Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Dr Segun Makanjuola, a partner of Nigeria Poultry and Livestock Exposition, said that the challenges in the industry range from availability of funds, low quantity of feed inputs to reduction of participants in the business.
Makanjuola said that agriculturists were intensifying efforts in boosting the nation’s economy through the creation of jobs to enhance food security.
“Today, many of our members import poultry intakes due to low quantity available in the country. We also face shortage of participants in the business with some now joining commercial motorcycle business.
“Another challenge is non-availability of fund for the business. Our members get loans to run their businesses at high interest rates unlike what operate in other parts of the world,” he said.
He said that number of investors would further increase if their members were able to attract loans at single digit interest rates.
Makanjuola said that the organisation had evolved several methods toward increasing the number of investors in the industry, saying the members had in the last few months attracted big players into the industry.
He said that one of such efforts was the Nigeria International Poultry and Livestock Exposition (NIPOLI EXPO) scheduled to take place in Ibadan from April 3 to April 5.
Makanjuola said that no fewer than 120 experts and exhibitors in the livestock industry from across the world would be at the event to discuss the challenges of the industry in Nigeria.
Mr Yekeen Kazeem, representative of Cooman Events Management Services (CEMS), corroborated Makanjuola’s claims, saying efforts must be made to ensure development of livestock SMEs in the country.
Kazeem said that the NIPOLI EXPO to hold at the University of Ibadan would expose participants to new opportunities.
“Attendance is free for farmers, AgroSMEs and Agriprenuer, during this edition, the organisers are expecting over 100 International and national exhibiting companies to participate in the NIPOLI EXPO 2019.
“At this exhibition and conference, discussion will be on Agro finance and investment opportunity for farmers and even for the future opportunities in the Nigerian livestock industry,” he said.
Kazeem said that the NIPOLI EXPO 2019 with the theme: “Innovative for Sustainable and Resilient Livestock SMEs Development in Nigeria” is the third edition and West Africa’s largest poultry and livestock exhibition.
He described the exhibition as a well-tailored business-to-business avenue for the agricultural sector, adding it would feature Off takers and Buyers Programme, Agro Finance and Investment Summit.
Three-day event is organised by CEMS in conjunction with Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) and All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN).
It is also supported by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, Oyo State Government, Lagos Business School and Access Bank.
By Akeem Abas