Some poultry farmers in Lagos State have called for continuation of the School Feeding Programme by the Federal Government. The farmers made the call in separate interviews on Tuesday.
A chieftain of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) Alh. Shitti Asimi, said continuation of the school feeding programme remained multi-beneficial to all across the country.
According to him, so many have become jobless since the discontinuation of the programme.
“When the school feeding programme commenced, as one of the aggregators, I had more than 35 to 40 persons under my employment.We had about 1500 cooks under the programme in Lagos state, in terms of employment generation.
“This programme is very key, even the school children are looking forward to the continuation of the feeding programme. However, in the present administration, we have not heard anything about the continuation of the school feeding programme. The present government should let us know if it is still interested in the continuation of the programme,” Asimi said.
In addition, he said the continuation would not just be beneficial to poultry farmers but across other value chains.
“We want the continuation of the school feeding programme. It is very important it continues, the new government should not underestimate the relevance of the programme. The programme is multi-beneficial to the entire community, from the farmers, to school children, parents and all employed under the programme.The programme has been suspended for the past 8 months in Lagos state. The new administration should budget for the continuation,” he said.
On his part, Mr Joel Oduware, a poultry processor and consultant said the programme should not be limited to some states but across the country.
“The discontinuation of the school feeding programme has resulted in reduced consumption of eggs. It has contributed to some sort of egg glut experienced in the sector.We want all states in the country to continue the school feeding programme and ensure basic dietary requirements of school children.The programme should resume and should be implemented fully and not just in some states.
“It should be implemented as part of the poverty alleviation schemes, or social investment programme of the government. This will also help the poultry sector in increased egg production, demand and consumption,” Oduware said.