After the 14- year civil unrest in Liberia, which greatly affected the nation’s agricultural sector, including its poultry industry, Liberian poultry farmers can now access poultry products, especially Day-Old chicks in Liberia without importing them from Europe.
Many farmers are engaged in some form of livestock production mostly for additional income and saving as well as home consumption. Chickens are by far the most common livestock, but a limited number of individuals are engaged in its production on a large scale in Liberia, making the economy greatly reliant on the importation of meat products.
But, thanks to the establishment of the Obassanjo farm Liberia (OFL), which was inaugurated last year to help revamp poultry production in Liberia, the farm has made available an initial 24,000 Day-Old Chicks (DOC) that will be accessed by poultry farmers in Liberia.
Obassanjo Farm is a private investment of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obassanjo. It was established through call from Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The multimillion-dollar poultry farm is situated on 150 acres in Gbah town, Grand Cape Mount County.
Speaking to local journalists on Sunday, July, 20 at his farm office in Grand Cape Mount County, OFL’s farm manager, Adeyemo G. Janiyo said that the first production of DOC was meant to assure the Liberian people of the commitment of former Nigerian President Olunsengun Obassanjo in partnering with the government of Liberia for food self-sufficiency.
“We launched the hatchery project a month ago to give Liberian poultry farmers the opportunity to get all the necessary support needed for poultry business in Liberia. The initial provision of DOC is a clear manifestation of the commitment toward the process,” said Janiyo.
More than 7,000 fresh eggs are being produced on a daily basis by the farm and majority is sold on the Liberian market and the rest in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
“The farm is producing sufficient egg for the local market in Liberia and having chicks available for interested individuals to raise for income generation,” he added.
Mr. Janiyo mentioned that the chicks will be sold to potential farmers at the cost US$1.00 per chick.
“Though the pullets (chicks used for layers) are intended for sale, we will be giving out the crockets (young roosters) free of charge to interested farmers,” he disclosed.
The OFL’s Farm Manager said he was hopeful that that poultry production in Liberia could soon compete with imported poultry products. But he admitted that it will take sometime to realize that goal.
Meanwhile, Liberia’s Agriculture Minister, Dr. Florence Chenoweth, who was on Obassanjo farm on Sunday, told journalists that the provision of chicks was a boost to the country poultry industry.
“I am optimistic that the investment of former Nigerian President Olunsegun Obassanjo in to the poultry sector of the country will help improve our food security,” she stated.
Minister Chenoweth stressed the need for the training of more veterinarian doctors to work in the poultry and livestock sector.
“Presently, we have seven young Liberians who are studying animal medicine abroad and are expected to return upon the completion of their studies to work for the country,” she disclosed.