The Federal Government, with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has disclosed plans to launch a N10billion fund for the National Egg Production Scheme (NEPRO) in the country.
The target of the scheme is to achieve a daily production of 50million eggs over the next five years for the purpose of local consumption, export and processing into egg powder for use in confectioneries and pharmaceuticals.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, during a press conference announcing the launch of the programme in Ondo State, last Friday disclosed that the programme would provide one million jobs nationwide through egg production, processing and marketing.
Noting that there may have been a loss of four million jobs in the city last year, he said an additional six million jobs were created in the rural areas in the last two years, and additional one million jobs from the egg production would increase the number of jobs created in the sector. Ogbeh disclosed that the loan to be provided by the CBN will be disbursed by the Bank of Agriculture (BoA), at a single digit interest rate of nine percent, and would be piloted in Abia, Cross River, Kebbi, Kogi and Ondo.
Ogbeh explained that if the loan is approved by the CBN each farmer would get N4.2million with repayment spread over 30 months, each farmer would be self-reliant with physical assets worth over N2.8million and cash assets of N1.68million.
The programme would also develop local capacity for the processing of minimum of 75 percent of table eggs, produced shelf table egg based products such as egg powder.
The Chairman, Tuns farm, Tunde Badmus, the anchor person for the programme, commended the government for the support given to poultry farmers, saying it was the first time they were getting such support from the government.
The project will be officially flagged off today (Friday), nationwide and would help conserve foreign exchange through the provision of egg processing machine to turn egg into powder. He said: “the secondary aspect of the production is processing that is capable of crushing 200,000 eggs per hour. The factory is expected to take off in June this year, because it is expected that the eggs would start coming out from that period.”
He disclosed that they are in talks with the Nigerian Railway Corporation, to provide a railway coach that would be specifically designed to convey eggs from different parts of the country to the processing plants.