FAO has projected that by 2050 the world’s population, which will increase to 9.7 billion, will be consuming two thirds more animal protein, with meat consumption rising by nearly 73 percent.
Also the consumption of poultry eggs on the African continent is expected to rise by 400 million tons in 2030, according to The Poultry Site.
Regardless of the lack of “up to date” records on imported eggs and poultry meat, especially chicken meat, into Liberia, it cannot be disproved that Liberians consume millions of tons of eggs and chicken meat annually. From party to restaurant dishes, chicken meat or chicken egg form part of the meal served.
According to Ukraine State Fiscal Service, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), Liberia, and the Syrian Arab Republic were Ukraine’s top three egg consumers of early 2017.
The report stated that the UAE is Ukraine’s top egg consumer – 66 percent share worth US$4.6million); Liberia was second – 9 percent share worth US$631,000; and the Syrian Arab Republic, third – 7.4 percent share worth US$ 520,000.
Despite these records, eggs and chicken reach the Liberian market almost rotten, because of the long time they spend en-route to Liberia. Rotten meat and eggs pose serious health and environmental threats to thousands of consumers and the environment.
Refrigerated eggs last up to 4 -5 weeks, but eggs are expected to last a little shorter when it is not refrigerated. Also raw chicken meat when refrigerated could last up to two days. Unfortunately, most eggs and meat including chicken meat bought from frozen meat stores could be eaten rotten, as majority of the Liberian population cannot afford refrigerators.
Population Increase Impact on Demand
According to the CountryMeters website, Liberia’s population is expected to increase by 123,824 people and reach 4,926,932 early next year, meaning that the country population will daily increase by 339 persons this year.
The increase is expected to happen in the country’s urban areas.
According to WorldoMeters, Liberia’s urban population will account for 50.5 percent (2,388,378) in 2018.
The increase in population could result to countless demands, but one demand that will always be high is the demand of quality and safe food.
Urban Reaction to Food
Unlike the country’s rural communities, the urban parts of Liberia is steadily switching to quality over quantity. During lunch hours, some travel two to three blocks away from their workplaces to consume a really tasty meal; some stay right at their offices and have their meals delivered from their desired restaurants. Taste is the primary driver of such behavior and it is really difficult to separate taste from quality when it comes to food.
Not really unnoticed, the urge of quality over quantity for consumers is impacting the food business sector. The increase in restaurants and the emergence of fast-food businesses will definitely impact the demand for fresh poultry eggs and meat.
However, the projection of increase in egg and chicken meat consumption could be a matter that the nation chooses to be passive about or Liberians could see such projections as an opportunity to venture into local poultry production.
The Try would be Worthy
Poultry has a short generation time and a potentially high rate of productivity. For example, a poultry enterprise can be producing meat within 7-9 weeks and will have the first eggs produced within 18-20 weeks after chicks are hatched. Chicks per hen range between 8-10, but it varies according to species.
Moreover, a person can take on poultry production both on large or small farms, and this production can either be a full time or part time one.
Despite the profit potential of poultry production, poor production practices, feed, drugs, vaccines, and electricity are challenges that could make poultry production a bit scary, but the try would be worthwhile.
Where to Find Help
Most businesses fail in Liberia not because of poor assessment operations but because little or sometimes no consultation is carried on with an expert. Friends, in most cases, are not experts. An expert could be a person trained or has undergone specific studies in a broader profession.
Anyone attempting to engage in raising poultry should seek in depth advice from experts in poultry management from the universities, Agriculture Ministry – Livestock Department, and professional agriculture organizations.