Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has urged the Federal Government to reduce interest rate on agriculture loan to boost poultry production and for affordability.
Ezekiel Ibrahim, the National President of the association made the appeal in Abuja.
Ibrahim frowned at the low consumption rate of egg and poultry meat in the country.
He decried that poultry meat, which ought to be part of every citizen’s daily menu were at the moment perceived as being only for celebrities, adding that the products were only consumed by majority of the populace during festivities and parties.
“For poultry meat and egg to be part of our daily menu and affordable by majority of the populace, we need to improve our technology for crop production and ensure reduction in the cost of capital in agriculture, which is currently double digits.”
Ibrahim further identified lack of information on the importance of poultry products as a contributing factor to the low consumption rate.
“We are talking of single digit interest rate while in most Europe countries, the maximum interest rate is two per cent, some are charging point five per cent and one per cent, even in some African countries interest rate is very low.
“So, we are urging the government as a source of intervention to set the interest rate at five per cent to agriculture.
“At the moment, the average production of crops per hectare is about 2.5 to three tonnes per hectare.
“In Brazil, we are talking of five tonnes per hectare of maize invariably it means the cost of production in Brazil will be very low.
“It means their poultry meat will be competitive hence almost an average person in Brazil has poultry product on his daily menu.
“So, there are two ways approach, as we reduce the interest rate, we should improve crop production through this measure, large number of people will go into poultry production.
“Which invariably makes it cheaper and affordable for majority of the populace,“he said.