Chinese firm to enhance food security in Nigeria

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Xinhua | 19 Janaury 2016

Chinese firm to enhance food security in Nigeria
 
A Chinese firm in southwest Nigeria's Ogun State has set up an integrated poultry farm in order to focus on enhancing the nation's food security through commercial agricultural production.
 
Mark Chen, General Manager for Eco-Green Farm, made this known in an interview with Xinhua in Ijebu-Ife, about 130 km from Lagos, the country’s economic hub on Monday.
 
Established in 2011, the farm situated a rural area of Ogun State recognized poultry’s potential to create jobs and economic opportunities in Nigeria, Chen told Xinhua, noting that the Nigerian poultry industry still faces challenges as it continues its growth.
 
“Recently this year, the Nigerian government encourages investment in agriculture, but in the past, probably the focus more on oil industry and neglects this part, but now they want to bring it up again,” he said.
 
Chen told Xinhua that the company plans to increase it birds population from 60,000 to 250,000 by 2017 and introduced cassava farming soon.
 
“In this year, we are going to extend our farm, currently our bird population is 60,000. But this year we are going to have additional 80,000 and next year we add another 80,000. So all together, we expect our bird population to increase to 220,000 to 250,000 birds,” he said.
 
“Currently for our egg layer farm, the land size is five acres and for the Chinese vegetable we use another five acres and we are going to use the 10 remaining acres for planting of cassava,” he added.
He said the chicken manure would be used as fertilizer to grow Chinese vegetables.
 
“Vegetable, you know their is a limitation, we cannot deliver to a very far away place and for those our Chinese vegetables, these are only for the Chinese company, so other than Chinese vegetable, we are also thinking about to plant cassava,” Chen told Xinhua.
 
According to him, the farm has created several jobs opportunities among the locals.
 
“We have just about five to six Chinese workers here and for our local staff, we have over 50. If we need to co-operate with the society, definitely we need to employ more local people,” he added.
The farmer said he believes in the current efforts by the Federal and State governments toward encouraging a private sector-led agribusiness initiative.
 
“We get some encouragement from the state government, for example they help us to get land here and discuss with the local people that we are coming here to set up a farm and we can also create job employment with them,” Chen said.
 
He said the farm had succeeded in training local farmers working with him, on the use of technics and skills for fresh vegetable production.
 
“We have some professional expertise from China, so they have the knowledge in farming and how to raise a chicken, so all our local farmer will learn from Chinese expertise,” he said.
 
Oluwafemi Akinyemi, a supervisor in the farm expressed his delight in the series of training he went through.
“Actually, this is my field, I studied Animal Production and Health, with their help I was trained through them and I trained the local workers along side,” he added.
 
On the farm activities, he said each worker have his or her designated job to do in each pen with supervision from their Chinese counterpart.
 
“But the ladies collect the eggs, sort the eggs and at the end of the day we collect every eggs into a vehicle and deliver it back to the egg store, that is the activities we run everyday in the Chicken house,” he added.
 
Speaking in the same vein while working on the farmland, Wilson Gaye, a Liberian national working in the farm told Xinhua that he has learnt new farming skills since joining the company in March 2015.
 
Gaye said he was trained by the Chinese with farming facilities provided and hailed the Chinese farmers for transferring ideas to him and others that have led to remarkable results.
 
“I have stayed long in Nigeria, I schooled here as well. I am very grateful to Eco-Green Farm for teaching me so many things,” he added. Enditem
 
Source: Xinhua
Original source: Xinhua
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