Imagine the development that will accompany a farm that has a hatchery capacity of 1.6m chicks weekly and a Feed factory with an annual production capacity of 360,000 metric tons! The job opportunities and economic activities across the value chain.
That began a few days ago here in Kaduna.
History was made in Chikpiri Gabas Village, Gwagwalada, Kaduna when Olam International, a leading agri-business operating from seed to shelf in 70 countries began operations on its 825-hectare poultry breeding farm, the largest of its kind in sub Saharan Africa.
At the farm’s commissioning on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, the relevance of KadInvest, a summit organized by the recently established Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA) was reaffirmed in the economic renaissance of the state. It is no coincidence that Kaduna state was preferred as the choice location for this landmark achievement and the summit’s role in this historic feat is not one to be easily discarded.
With an investment value of US$100 million, the state-of-the-art Integrated Poultry facility comprises a hatchery and poultry farm, on one hand, and feed mill factory, on the other, to close the wide chicken deficit, by creating high-end chicken in Nigeria, for Nigeria. All processes including feeding, water supply, treatment, ventilation systems and illumination are automated in line with global standards.
Olam CEO for Africa Venkataramani Srivathsan was visibly as excited as we were. “By investing in poultry and fish feed, we can utilise the wheat bran from our wheat milling operations, as well as maximise our sourcing networks to buy corn and soy from local farmers. Our investment in the hatchery will help boost poultry production and, in the long run, help reduce the country’s reliance on import. At full capacity both mills are expected to produce more than 600,000 metric tonnes of feed. The Kaduna mill will supply mainly Nigeria’s northern markets. The mills will source corn and soybeans locally and it is hoped that this will encourage domestic production of these crops.”
There are five hatchers in the farm, each of them are expected to produce 38,400 day-old-chicks per day. On the feed mill, which sits on 844 hectares, with 150,000mt storage capacity, the company says it will address the poultry feed supply gap in Northern Nigeria, filling the 40 per cent gap in the animal feed market.
We read with glee when the Business Head-Animal Protein, Olam Hatcheries Limited, Dr. Vinod Kumar Mishra, said the poultry and hatchery will produce four billion eggs and 100 million Kg of poultry meat for the country annually, which is an equivalent of 25 eggs and 0.5kg of chicken per person.
The farm is also expected to help local communities thrive by facilitating direct employment of 500-600 workers and a potential ripple effect of 300,000 to 400,000 jobs for local rural youth as they see opportunity to become poultry farmers. It is also working with various state governments to enable a regular supply of eggs for school meal programmes at below-market prices.
These numbers are unprecedented in this part of the world, and we are glad they have begun to happen right here in our dear state. In the words of the governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, “we will continue to attract the resources needed to make the lives of our people better”. This development lends credibility to that commitment.