Rehabilitate abandoned 72,000-egg capacity hatchery, Consultant urges Cross River Govt.

“unfortunately the last administration in the state abandoned the project and started building a new hatchery in Obudu and did not complete it."

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Rehabilitate, abandoned 72,000-egg capacity hatchery, Consultant urges Cross River Govt.A Livestock Consultant, Mr Simon Ogbaji, on Wednesday called for rescucitation of the abandoned Cross River Hatchery in Itigidi, Abi Local Government Area.

Ogbaji, who worked with the Cross River Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture, made the call in an interview in Calabar.

BRANDPOWER reports that Ogbaji’s call comes on the backdrop of a full-grown chicken being sold for N10,000 and more during the Yuletide.

Also, poultry traders buying day-old chicks from hatcheries complained that it was very expensive, not to talk of the feeds for the chicks.

The consultant said the hatchery, which had been in existence for almost 17 years, was a partnership between the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the government of Cross River.

He said further that the NDDC contributed N126 million and the government of Cross River invested N250 million in the property.

The former director of livestock recalled that, initially, the project was to be located in the eight miles area of Calabar but the area grew and became residential.

He noted that the government tried relocating it to Akpabuyo, but security was poor, so the equipment was moved to Itigidi.

According to Ogbaji, “unfortunately the last administration in the state abandoned the project and started building a new hatchery in Obudu and did not complete it.

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“That project has been hanging and if it is fixed, the problem of day-old chick production in the state and its environs will be solved.

“The equipment are already there in Itigidi, although there was a little issue of vandalism during the #EndSARS protest in 2020, we brought an engineer to fix it but could not continue with the rehabilitation,” he said.

Ogbaji said that what the state needed was to get an engineer to fix the place, if the machines were not already obsolete.

He noted that if the hatchery was running, it would boost the supply of poultry products, not just in Cross River but also in neighbouring states and increase the state’s income.

Reacting to the issue, Mr Emmanuel Anom, the State Commissioner for Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture, said he was aware of the hatchery in Itigidi, adding that the state had not abandoned it.

Anom said: “We have just come into office and all the things we think we can rehabilitate for the benefit of the state, we will.

“However, I don’t have a timeline, when it starts, it starts, our eyes are on Itigidi,” he said.