A dual-purpose birds purposely developed for Nigerians is set to employ 20 million farmers, especially women in different parts of the country, the Project Coordinator for Noiler in Nigeria, Mr. Korede Afolabi, has said.
He said currently, there are about 500,000 small holder farmers with varying investments in indigenous Noiler birds, in all the six geographical zones including the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT), Abuja. Afolabi, stated this at a two-day Small Poultry Conference for farmers, organised by Amo Farms Limited, Oyo, at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
The conference which has in attendance members of Non Governmental Organisations (NGO), researchers, poultry farmers and other stakeholders in the poultry industry was organised by Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited to help aggregate peasant farmers especially women across the country.
The Project Coordinator further explained that the aim of the annual conference was to explore ways to see how poultry farmers could become competitive, and source their input, and create market. While noting that the membership of the forum was open to people who were disengaged from their businesses or retired , Afolabi said that currently in Nigeria, there are over 1200 mother units with varying capacity of over 2000 birds, across the country.
“Also, we have small holders farmers currently in the country, they are about 300,000 because we have representatives. We call them farmers satisfaction reps. and they are in every states including the federal capital territory.
“And our target is to reach about 20 million Nigerians for empowerment, majorly women because in our social equation , you know that our women are very important you can’t neglect them. They have that time , they have that energy, they have that ability to drive vision ,” he said. Noiler birds, he said was developed about 18 year ago as an indigenous bird, to address the major issue of poverty, malnutrition and social issues that affect Nigerians, women and children.
“So, when I say rural women, we have statistics around the globe that poverty is a major problem we have in our country. About 52 percent of the population is rural, so we are looking at how we can impart that life directly especially the women. So, what we do with Noiler is that after brooding for five weeks, we sell to small holder farmers, they brood these birds at their backyard.
“These birds are capable of giving them eggs, meat, and you know these things are protein and this we help in the growth of the children. And its going to stop maternal mortality, then we have to increase the intake of protein. And the only way to do it is by empowering the women to have these birds in their locality, households and raise them to be able to get eggs and sometimes, slaughter them and prepare it for the family so that it can address the nutritional deficiency of the family.
“And there is also a business side of this programme, we have a model that is called the mother units . The mother units are existing farmers who understand brooding technique minimally, where they don’t understand, we train them, free of charge. After doing that we buy the inputs, we put the birds in their pen house, rear them for five weeks and do all the necessary vaccination and after five weeks , they start selling “, he stated.