Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade has disclosed that the state-owned chicken processing plant, Calachika, has met almost all the requirements for certification by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Situated at the sprawling Ayade Industrial Park along Goodluck Jonathan Bypass in Calabar, the 24,000 birds per day chicken processing factory is one of the industries the Ayade administration built across the state in line with its industrialisation policy.
Speaking with newsmen at the factory during a facility tour, the governor said apart from being ready for NAFDAC certification, products from the factory are also ready to hit the market.
“Our factory products are completely ready to hit the market, we are in the last phase of NAFDAC certification and the certification is taking a process because we need to separate the selection of the live birds from the production line,” he said.
According to Governor Ayade, “the live birds contain high levels of pathogens and their pathogenicity is very huge. A typical example is cosidiosisimitis. It can be very infectious and its pathogenicity is well established.
“So, to create a control system, NAFDAC has given us clear specifications and we are adjusting our production process to meet the NAFDAC criteria.
“In addition, we needed to set up a laboratory, and the laboratory is already in place as we await certain sensitive equipment for final testing.
“So, indeed, that is why we are yet to launch it aggressively in terms of marketing, in terms of adverts, because we need the final NAFDAC certification to do so.”
The Governor stressed that Calachika was poised to boost the protein intake of Nigerians, lamenting that “statistics show that the average Nigerian consumes only 2.5k of chicken per annum and that is a little above one chicken. So it means that an average Nigerian is seen to be consuming a little over one chicken in a year.
“This means that a child growing up in an average Nigerian home has access to only one chicken in the entire year and chicken is one of the cheap sources of protein.”
Calachika, he said, “provides a great opportunity for us to increase the growth level of our young children. So in no distant time, Nigeria will experience a huge supply of chicken from calachika.”