The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), has advised the Federal Government to incorporate egg and chicken into the School Feeding Programme to enhance the cognitive development of the child.
Mr Ezekiel Mam, the President of the association gave this advice at a news conference on Friday in Abuja at the end of the PAN National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
Mam further urged the government to incorporate egg in the school feeding programme of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Prison Services, Armed Forces, Police and more support to the efforts of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
He, however, assured the Federal Government that the poultry industry would continue to grow the economy for national food security and self-sufficient in line with government policy.
Mr Onallo Akpa, the Director-General of PAN, described egg as containing the required vitamins and minerals for proper development.
Akpa explained that its inclusion as part of the menu of the school feeding programme would enhance the cognitive development of the child.
He further emphasised that it would ensure that children were healthy, adding that such would also increase school enrolment in the country and boost literacy level.
“We are canvassing for aggressive inclusion of egg in the school feeding programme to ensure that children are healthy and be able to have higher literacy level in this country.
“With the inclusion of egg in school feeding menu, any child that hears of such initiative will be willing to attend school in spite of their parent’s refusal to send them to school.
“This is because most families are not able to afford egg in their menu, hence we want the egg to be compulsory in school feeding programmes,” he said.
Akpa noted that through the inclusion of egg in the school feeding programme, the scope of poultry production for the egg layer business would increase.
According to him, this will further increase the capacity of poultry farmers by 100 per cent.
“If I have 20 staff in my employment today, I will increase my capacity by 50 per cent because I am going to employ an additional workforce of 10 persons.
“By the time we are able to do this, we will greatly reduce unemployment in this country and my income will be bigger, and I will be able to assist more people,” he said.
- Toheeb Jaiyeola is a graduate of Kwara state university, Malete. He is a versatile journalist with interest in Health, Politics and Environment.