Smuggling of poultry products is unlikely to end anytime soon as supply gap hits 1.7 million metric tonnes (m.m.t).
Most of the bans placed on poultry products have not been effective and have made no real impact on actual foreign imports. Smuggling poultry products, especially chicken and turkey have become a big business for importers of these products.
Africa biggest economy needs more than two million metric tonnes of poultry products annually to meet local demand. Official figure shows that local farmers are only able to produce 300,000 metric tonnes, leaving a wide gap of more than 1.7 million metric tonnes.
With the gap between supply and demand, smugglers are encouraged by the inability of local suppliers to meet demands for these products.
“Smuggling persists because of the gap in demand and supply and it will not stop until Nigeria increases local production capacity,” said Edobong Akpabio, executive director, Living Green Farms and garden foundation.
Akpabio also noted that for the country to address this issue of smuggling, state governments should deliberately provide land for poultry businesses and establish funding for the development of the poultry value chain.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has strongly warned against the consumption of imported poultry products, threatening to take action against smugglers or dealers found with the banned products.
“Government needs to make our poultry products more competitive than the imported poultry products said Ismail Bukar, is the co-founder and head of operations, Caerphilly Farms.
“Nigerians prefer the imported poultry products because it is cheaper than the local produced ones despite the possible harmful substances they contain”, Bukar said.
Imported poultry products, especially chicken and turkey, have been identified as causative agent in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and antibiotics resistance. Some of these health conditions include hypertension, kidney disease, and cancer.