Poultry farmers in Ilorin have commended the Federal Government for banning importation of chicken, which has increased productivity and availability of markets.
The farmers, who spoke in separate interviews in Ilorin on Sunday expressed their delight as demand for chicken and other poultry products increased following the ban.
A poultry farmer, Mr Samuel Ishola, whose farm is located in Olunlade, a suburb of Ilorin, told NAN that he witnessed a rise in demand of broilers unlike few years back when he resulted into begging people to buy.
Ishola said the government had done well to encourage poultry farmers as the ban on importation of chicken had forced a huge number of customers to patronise them.
“Since the ban on importation of turkey, I now witness a huge crowd that is now interested in my broilers everyday.
“We the poultry farmers benefit a lot from that government policy as we feel encouraged and enjoy the way our customers now settle for the domestic chicken instead of opting for the imported,’’ he said.
Another farmer, Mr Leke Ayoola, described the ban on imported chicken as a blessing as every poultry farmer now had a market as demand increased for the livestock product.
Ayoola said he was forced to increase his poultry pen due to high patronage by the customers, adding that he extended his poultry farm to meet up with customers’ demand.
“Before, I use to raise like 200 to 300 broilers but now am happy that I have like 400 to 500 broilers inside my poultry pen and I have customers that always come for it.
“I sell to hotels, restaurants, private individuals as they now prefer to buy the home- raised boilers. They have come to appreciate freshness,’’ he said.
Another farmer, Alhaja Iyabo Ahmed in Kangu area said most poultry farmers in the country were encouraged to do more, as they commended the initiative of the government in prohibiting importation of chicken.
“Though there are some financial challenges but we still try to make things work for our customers,’’ she said.
Ahmed said the harsh weather was one of the major challenges faced by farmers during the hot season because the poultry birds did not adapt easily to heat.
She, however, called on the government to encourage students, unemployed graduates at all levels on agricultural practice.
Ahmed said that agriculture would rescue Nigeria from recession.