In a bid to complement the multi-billion naira frozen chicken processing factory, Calachika, Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has commenced the construction of what arguably would be the biggest poultry and livestock farm.
When completed, the factory is projected to process about 6,000 frozen chicken per hour.
Located along the Calabar/Odukpani Road in Odukpani Local Government Area, the poultry and livestock farm is conceived to be the biggest of its kind in the South South with the production capacity of 22 thousand birds per hour.
It is expected to roll out its first birds by the end of the second quarter of 2019.
Briefing news men at the site during his unscheduled visit recently, the state Governor Ayade disclosed details of the project: “We have six broiler houses, layers and of course the hatchery. So, we would be producing 22 thousand birds per broiler house with massive production of eggs. My ambition is to commission it before 29th May 2019 as part of my second term project.”
According to Ayade, “Already, we have a team of engineers from China and Spain where we purchased the equipment from. They are on ground to perform the installations here on site once the civil works is completed.”
Ayade who described the poultry farm as the most sophisticated in terms of equipment and production line in Africa, further stated: “In the whole of South-South Nigeria, there is no commercial, massive and industrial scale poultry business, yet protein is the core most important part of hospitality industry.”
Offering more insights on the value chain of the projects, the governor explained: “Indeed, you have three major downstream benefits from this business; eggs in abundance, day old chicks and frozen chickens and that is what we are doing to industrialize the state.
“All the small poultry farmers in Cross River State and its environ can now start buying their day old chicks from our facility instead of going far west as the case is currently.”
Continuing, he said: “We also have a slaughter house at the Ayade Industrial park where we are going to slaughter six thousand birds per hour for export.
“That is why it is located close to the Bakassi Deep seaport. So, as we produce, we blast fridge and then take them to the cool room before exporting them as fresh chickens from natural yellow maize and soya beans.”
As a proactive measure to sustain the poultry farm, Ayade further disclosed that the state has started massive cultivation of soya beans and yellow maize in the northern part of the state to add as our feed inputs.
He urged the citizenry to start cultivation of yellow maize and soya beans as the factory will be requiring them in large quantity to meet up its daily productions capacity as what the state currently cultivates will not be enough.
Justifying his call for more people to venture into farming Ayade stated that “In my first term, I did food on the table, expanding government even if you are not working just to put food on the table but in the second term, it is going to be food on the table, hands on the plough.”
So, everybody must work. Anybody that gets an appointment, as I gave a commitment that every agent that delivers his polling unit will get a job, so all of them will get a job and will definitely work.
“Now appointment will be based on your area of core competence were you can bring value to the appointment.”
On how the state intends to run all the industrial clusters established by his administration, Ayade explained that “We want to produce agripreneurs; businessmen in the agriculture industry who will be exporting frozen chickens from here. I am not going to be the exporter. Cross River State can’t even run all of these. I am just a dreamer, manifesting the dreams.
“Cross River State from its financial derivatives does not have the capacity to deliver these kind of sophisticated industries but I am being driven by intellectual money to prove that professors and indeed, intellectuals have a greater opportunity to play in politics. explained.
“So, let Ayade be a reflection of a classical exposure of a man who have good education and sound background on business perspective.”
On what his driving force is, Governor Ayade said: “What is driving me is far beyond politics and that is why you are seeing that my zeal, kinetics, determination has not change but burning even more now.
“Of course, the people of Cross River State have demonstrated their acceptability of my administration as can be attested to in the landslide victory. I won every single polling units across the state and all I owe them is to give them the very last fiber to ensure that every single word I gave is honoured,” he added.