Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The National vice President of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), South-East, Mr Olisa Onu, has disclosed that no few than seven of their members were kidnapped, with two of the victims dying in the custody of their captors in 2023 alone.
Onu revealed this in an interaction with Journalists in Enugu, adding that insecurity was one of the challenges facing poultry farmers in the zone, especially in Enugu State.
“One of the major problems facing the growth of poultry .business in Nigeria, South-East, and particularly Enugu State, is insecurity.
“As I speak with you, many of our farmers have left their farms for fear of being kidnapped and killed.
“Many farms are currently deserted with their owners running for safety
“In the past three months, no few than seven poultry farmers had been kidnapped and two could not make it back to their farms and families.
“We buried one, a man in October and the recent one, a lady we are preparing to bury this December,” he said.
He said those were people who had invested millions of Naira to set up their businesses, “who had employed many people and paying them salary thus contributing to the economy of the state.”
Onu said that the association had written several letters to both the state government and the different security agencies in the state, adding that nothing concrete has come out of it.
“We have written letters to those concerned including the state government and the security outfits, the DSS, the Commissioner of Police and even the Army.
“We have held several meetings with the state government but nothing has changed,” he said.
The VP described the situation as pathetic and annoying and expressed fear that the situation may affect the availability of birds during this year’s Christmas celebration.
He said that the South-East zone currently ranks second in Nigeria in poultry production behind the South-West who have been in the business far back.
He advised the government at the federal and state levels to formulate favourable policies that could encourage more people to go into the business.
“The federal and state governments need to make laws to encourage the growth of poultry business in the country.
“Chicken meat is white meet which is one of the best protein in the world, everybody needs at least, one egg every day to stay healthy and nourished,” Onu said.