By G9ija

POULTRY Association of Nigeria (PAN) has urged the Federal Government to encourage private sector investments in agriculture by pegging interest rate on borrowing at a maximum of three per cent.

The association also urged the government to allow free duty charge for the importation of poultry machines that are not produced locally rather than the current practice of putting all agricultural equipment on five per cent import duty against the previous zero duty for all agricultural equipment.

Speaking at a news conference in Abuja yesterday, its National President, Mr Ezekiel Mam commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the approval of 5000 metric tons of maize for poultry farmers.

Mam, who also called for the increase in percentage and funding to the ministries of agriculture at federal, state and local government levels, called for the increase in funding of agricultural research institutes and appoint monitoring and evaluation committees to ensure that targets are set up with deliverables.

“Poultry industry in Nigeria is a major player in the agricultural value chain as we uptake about 40 per cent of maize and 60 per cent of soybeans produced in the country.

He however called for collaboration among the stakeholders in the agricultural value chains.

He asked the Federal Government to maintain total ban on the importation of frozen poultry products and ensure that maximum sanctions and prosecution are meted to violators to deter others.