Olam Nigeria, owner of the multi-billion naira hatchery and poultry farm in Kaduna, has urged local poultry farmers in the area not to entertain any fear as the newly built farm will not be involved in the direct sales of eggs and birds for meat.

Olam’s Business Head, Animal Protein, Dr. Vinod Kumar Mishra, gave the assurance while responding to questions from Daily Trust at the farm in Kaduna.

Mishra said the company was aware of the fears by local poultry farmers, who saw its new farm as a threat in the market.

“We are here to support them, we are not here to kill their market. We are here to provide quality feeds and day-old chicks. We are not entering direct poultry business, we are not entering to produce eggs or meat for sale, we are producing feeds and chicks only,’’ he said.

Local poultry farmers in and around the area are expressing fear that if the company is involved in the direct sale of eggs and birds in the market, it will negatively affect their business.

The farmers said that they don’t have the financial muscle to compete with Olam as the company can afford to crash prices and force them out of business.

But Olam says its main focus is to produce quality feeds and day-old chicks for the local farmers.

Olam’s Vice President, Corporate and Government Relations, Ade Adefeko, told Daily Trust that the hatchery and poultry farm, located at Chikpiri Gabas village, Gwagwada, in Kaduna State would be commissioned on Tuesday, September 12.

He said when fully operational, the farm would produce about 1.65 million day-old chicks per week.

Adefeko said the company established the farm to support the country’s agricultural transformation agenda as well as enhance domestic food security and provide high quality source of protein.

 Rajeen Pathak, the farm’s chief engineer, said the feed section of the farm can produce about 1,000 metric tons per day of eight brands of feeds for a variety of birds.

He said all the raw materials for the feed production are locally sourced.

Some poultry farmers, who spoke with our reporter, pleaded with Olam to stick only to feed and chicks production to save small-holder farmers who will not be able to compete with the company.