The Managing Director of Akwa Prime Hatchery and Poultry Limited, located at Mbiaya Uruan, Dr Yakubu Bala has described the venture as a phenomenal success story.
Dr Bala said this while giving a scorecard on the operations of the firm to a team of newsmen led by the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udo, to showcase and inform the general public about the achievements of the State Government.
Conducting the team on a tour guide of the hatchery, Dr Bala disclosed that, the Akwa Prime Hatchery has not recorded any mortality since inception, with about 20, 000(twenty thousand) birds currently in the facility. He explained that, the high premium placed on the bio-security of the zone where the birds breed, grow and lay eggs has proved effective in boosting the zero mortality recorded in the hatchery.
On the production and output level of the hatchery, Dr Bala said Akwa Prime Hatchery produces about 16, thousand(sixteen thousand) eggs weekly, adding that, this is bound to increase when the new pen which is under construction is completed and more birds brought in to raise the number to thirty thousand, which will be effected by the end of March.
On the market for the poultry products, Dr Bala revealed that, Akwa Prime Hatchery is operating a demand driven model, with a ready market to evacuate their egg, day old chicks, meat or poultry litter. He noted that, hitherto, the whole of the South East and South South were sourcing their day old chicks from hatcheries in the South West, but the intervention of Akwa Prime Hatchery has changed the narrative, as farmers can now source their supply from the firm.
The General Manager of the Hatchery further revealed that, the company also serves as off-taker, by buying out poultry products from farmers, thus ensuring that, local poultry farmers do not suffer any loses on their investment due to lack of ready market, noting that, Akwa Ibom State is currently the largest off-taker of day old chicks.
Dr Bala conducted the crew around the facilities in the expansive hatchery, including, the breeder farm, the growers, the layers point, the hatchery and the processing plant.
In his remarks, the Information and Strategy Commissioner, Mr Charles Udoh, said, the facility visit was in furtherance of the State Government’s Open Governance Tour, an initiative he explained, was put in place to engender transparent exhibition of the achievements of the Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel led administration in various sectors. Mr Udoh regretted that, some uninformed people and cynics think the government is merely running propaganda with claims of its achievement, and charged all who doubt the success story of the hatchery to visit the company and see things for themselves. He commended the staffers of the company, for maintaining the best international safety practices in running the poultry and pledged continued Government support and provision of the enabling environment for investors in the state to succeed.
Mr Udoh noted that, the hatchery is a giant leap by the Akwa Ibom state Government in her determined effort to diversify the economy of the state, generate revenue from agro-allied based industries and create employment for the teeming population.
On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matters, Mr Ufot Ebong lauded the company for being meticulous in operating the company. Mr Ebong also commended Governor Emmanuel for ensuring that, the Hatchery which was started by the past administration was not abandoned. He revealed that, Governor Emmanuel had directed that an investor be found too operate the hatchery, and that Prime Hatchery from Ethiopia emerged as the core investor in the company, while the state maintains its equity share.
He further revealed that, an expansion of the hatchery is already ongoing as the target is to reach a capacity of 230, 000(two hundred and thirty thousand) birds by 2018.
On the economic value of the hatchery, Mr Ebong stressed that, it has created employment for locals as 93% of employees in the hatchery hail from Akwa ibom state, while the diary products and eggs from the farm are already in supply in the open market.
Mr Ebong also affirmed that, the poultry litter from the farm is bought off and used as manure in the tomatoes farm, which is another major revolution in farming brewing in the state.
Speaking to newsmen on the Open Governance Tour initiative, the Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom Governor on New Media, Mrs Meflyn Anwana said that, Government is about the people and they have a right to know and be carried along on the programmes and policies of government. Mrs Anwana maintained that, the state Government is not afraid of public scrutiny and has therefore decided to strategically engage the public on a tour of various government projects so that the people can substantiate and appraise the activities of the government in pursuit of sustainable development and the common good.
By Osondu Ahirika