By Babajide Okeowo
In a bid to boost egg and meat production while creating more jobs in the sub-sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released the sum of N12.552 billion to large, medium, and small-scale poultry farmers in the country.
The funds were released to the farmers between the fourth quarter of 2019 and November 2020 through various commercial banks and the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.
Large scale companies that benefited from the CBN intervention programmes included Fortune Heights and Animal Care, both in Ogun State; Dasco Engineering in Lagos, Olam Hatcheries in Kaduna, Eastern Plains in Anambra State, and Emmpek Farms in Delta State. Other beneficiaries listed under the Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) window include Elabi Farms in Bayelsa and Aladeyelu Farms in Ondo.
It was learned that 639 poultry farmers that applied through the regular AGSMEIS window had also received funds as Autonomous Poultry farmers, through NIRSAL MFB, to the tune of N1.996 Billion. Similarly, the sum of N1.591 billion has been disbursed to 898 poultry farmers across the country to ameliorate the impact of COVID-19 on their operations.
Confirming this, the Director, Development Finance Department at the apex bank, Mr. Phillip Yila Yusuf, said the disbursement of funds to farmers was an on-going process as more farmers are being shortlisted for the loan.
According to him, the additional fund will be disbursed to poultry farmers before the end of 2020 to guarantee, among other objectives, improved output, affordability and accessibility of eggs, broiler meat, and day-old-chicks; an assured market for egg-producers through off-take; employment creation for existing and new poultry farmers and improved protein intake for Nigerians.
Recall that the CBN in 2019 partner 12 universities from the six geo-
political zones of the country in a pilot scheme known as university-based Poultry Revival Programme aimed at further addressing the demand gap and unlocking the potentials of the Nigerian poultry industry through the involvement of universities.
Meanwhile, some large-scale poultry farmers that have benefited from the intervention schemes of the CBN have lauded the bank’s measures in the sector, noting that in the post-COVID 19, the poultry sector in Nigeria would witness a great boost.