By Oluwafunke Ishola
An agro-processing company, Agricorp International, says it has invested N4 billion into acquiring poultry production facilities across three states in Nigeria.
Its Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth Obiajulu, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.
Obiajulu said that the move would deepen the company’s portfolio to include livestock production, processing and export while providing employment and contributing to reducing the country’s poultry meat deficit.
“The rising inflation rate in food and agricultural produce poses a challenge that stares us in the face.
“Our dependence on imported food items also contributes to the pressure on foreign exchange.
“Investing N4 billion in 142 poultry pens across Kwara, Kogi and Nasarawa will boost local poultry production by at least three million poultry birds per annum.
“At kickoff, the project will create a minimum of 1,500 jobs and contribute slightly to easing the pressure on foreign exchange caused by the importation of poultry into the country,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that since its launch in 2018, Agricorp specialised in the production and processing of spices through which it empowered over five thousand smallholder farmers.
This helped increase the farmers’ income by about 20 per cent while providing them with better market access to sell their farm produce.
Obiajulu said the company through its “Project Eclipse 2025” , its poultry development programme was creating opportunity for more Nigerian youths to join the agricultural value chain by providing them with the requisite skills and capacity.
According to him, through the project, the firm will invest over N20 billion in the production, processing and eventual export of poultry products.
He said that the investment would create direct and indirect employment for an estimated 100,000 youths by 2025.
Obiajulu said that the company achieved five to seven per cent mortality rates across its various farm locations after executing the pilot phase of its poultry programme in the third quarter of this year.
He added that it achieved a 100 per cent off-take rate from its partners who are major stakeholders in the poultry processing value chain.
Similarly, Wale Omotimirin, Agricorp’s Co-Founder, said the project was massive with a goal to produce 40 million poultry birds by 2025, which represents approximately four per cent of the projected annual demand.
“We have demonstrated good faith by making our first commitment and investment.
“By Q2 2022, we will commence the second phase of deploying additional resources to hit two times our current capacity.
“We are taking on the mandate to help improve the economy the best way we know how to – through agriculture,” he said. (NAN) (nannews.ng)