By Harris Emanuel, Uyo
Farmers in Akwa Ibom State have lamented the shortage of day-old chicks despite the limited stock of Akwa Prime Hatchery and Poultry with a capacity of 200,000 per week.
Some of the poultry farmers expressed frustration at the logistical challenges they face bringing in day-old chicks from Kaduna, Enugu and Ibadan, while the hatchery in the state opened in 2016 is fallow.
One of the farmers, Mr. Etoro-Obong Inyang, told reporters that the state’s poultry farmers haven’t had such a bad time of late.
He said: “During the 12 years that I have been in poultry farming, this is the first time in years that poultry farmers have been so affected by both economic and non-economic factors. And sadly, no one is available to offer an explanation.
“Farmers have been left to the whims and whims of the owners of the means of production and there seems to be no government regulation of the poultry industry. So how do you explain a situation where you wake up suddenly and the price of a day-old chick sells for N600 and a bag of feed reaches N6,000?
“And, in one state, the government claims that agriculture is one of its cardinal programs. For example, in 2016, the government said it had built a hatchery and that the intention, according to the government, was to ensure the availability of day-old chicks at prices affordable to farmers, but sadly that effort has not yielded any results. tangible. Outcome. Farmers still get their day-old chicks from Ibadan, Kaduna and Enugu. So the question now is where is the hatchery.
“One would have expected farmers to buy old chicks at humane prices, but by all indications the acclaimed hatchery is a ruse.
“The day-old chicks that we are in the market; Amo, Chi, Sayed and Chikun, etc. So which one is Akwa Prime Hatchery producing? “
Another farmer, Ms Eka Prince Ukpong, also lamented the number of casualties she recorded the last time she ordered day-old chicks from Ibadan.
According to her, she was excited like other farmers with the idea of establishing a hatchery in the state, but that hope has been dashed as there are no chicks several years after the hatchery was commissioned.
Correspondents who visited the hatchery in Mbiaya in the Uruan local government area about the events noted that activities were at an all-time low, as there were no signs of business in the expanding complex, even as the road leading to the Cattery has been impassable for travelers. .
The company’s management denied journalists access to the company, even when locals who trusted correspondents stated that only the factory’s poultry section was functional and not even at full capacity.
A staff who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to address journalists said that “although we do not have day-old chicks at this time, we do have frozen chickens in sufficient quantities.
Many respondents have reason to question the sudden change in the naira multi-million dollar enterprise plan initiated by Governor Udom Emmanuel as part of efforts to achieve food sufficiency and curb the plight of poultry farmers in the state.
The managing director of the poultry company, Dr. Samuel Yakubu, had reportedly pledged in recent years to meet the demands of the public by raising more than 200,000 broilers and 50,000 laying birds, but that dream has yet to be realized. came true.
However, several calls and text messages sent to Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Glory Edet for her reaction on the matter were not returned at the time of this report.