A devastating windstorm hit the Dauda Mafala and Sons Poultry Farm at Rapomol, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau on Saturday, killing over 3,600 birds.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who visited the farm on Sunday, learnt that the incident was caused by a heavy downpour in the area.
NAN reports that the windstorm destroyed six other chicken shades, part of poultry fence and electricity poles, amongst other structures in the farm.
The Managing Director of the farm, Mr Keneth Mafala, told NAN that the farm, which was established in 1976, had the capacity to house 60,000 birds.
Mafala said that the windstorm also destroyed an automated cage worth 80,000 dollars.
”At about 3.30 p.m. on Saturday, a windstorm destroyed so many structures in this farm.
“It particularly destroyed a chicken shade housing 10,800 laying birds.
”As we speak, we have lost 3,600 birds already and, as you can see, we are still evacuating them.
“So, the number may increase by the time we are done.
”It has also completely destroyed a fully automated chicken cage that cost us 80,000 dollars to import in 2013.
”This machine has the egg packing system, feeding system and the manure recovery system,” he said.
Mafala further explained that aside the automated cage, the total damage recorded from the calamity worth over N250 million.
In a reaction, the Spokesperson for the Plateau Chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, Mrs Nanji Gambo, described the incident as ”unfortunate”.
Gambo also said it was a huge loss to the poultry industry in the state.
She called on the State Government to come to the aid of the farm proprietor.
She further expressed the need for government’s deliberate support for the poultry industry in the state in general.
According to her, the poultry industry is one of the largest employers of labour in the country.
”Already, poultry industry is facing a series of challenges due to the current economic hardship in the country.
“The removal of subsidy is really telling on poultry farmers.
”There is the high cost of feeds materials, poor market for eggs and other poultry products, among other challenges.
”Last year, for instance, a lot of our farmers were affected by flood that ravaged some communities in the state and no assistance came their way.
”So, we call on the government to support this farmer and other farmers affected by similar situations to revive their businesses.
”That way, they will bounce back to business and contribute to the growth of the economy of the state,” Gambo said.
She particularly called on the Plateau Government to use part of the N5 billion Federal Government’s palliative to revive the ailing poultry industry in the state.