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Cablegate: Avian Flu: Nigerian Poultry Industry Overview

VZCZCXRO6896
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN
DE RUEHUJA #1791/01 1931722
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121722Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6443
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RHFMISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0016
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP/ASD-HD//
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 001791

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

USDA FOR FAS/OA, FAS/DLP, FAS/ICD AND FAS/ITP
USDA FOR APHIS
USDA FOR WAYNE MOLSTAD/OSEC
USAID/W FOR AFR/WA ANGELA LOZANO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU EAGR EAID NI AVIANFLU
SUBJECT: AVIAN FLU: NIGERIAN POULTRY INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

REF: LAGOS 811

ABUJA 00001791 001.2 OF 002

1. Summary. Information is fragmentary on Nigeria's poultry
sector. Chickens constitute more than 95% of Nigeria's
poultry. Nigeria has an estimated 150 million birds -- 70
million on commercial farms and 80 million belonging to
"informal" or backyard farmers. The decentralized nature of
Nigeria's poultry industry has made controlling AI
difficult. The GON's delay in adopting a compensation
policy permitting prompt payments to farmers with AI-
infected birds means it is small farmers who bear the
greatest financial loss from birds lost to AI or culling.
End summary.

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2. Nigeria's poultry sector is important to Nigerians
because of the employment it provides and because eggs and
poultry meat supply a significant percentage of Nigerians'
protein. Representatives of the Poultry Association of
Nigeria provided some of the following information, but
statistics and information about Nigeria's poultry industry
remain fragmentary. This is especially true because
"informal" farmers make up a large portion of Nigeria's
poultry farmers.

3. Nigerian farmers raise guinea fowl, geese, ducks, and
ostriches, but chickens constitute more than 95% of
Nigeria's poultry. Most Nigerian poultry is sold and
consumed in Nigeria. The major genetic lines of chickens
available in Nigeria, and their origin, are: Loman Brown,
South Africa and the United States; Nera Black, Israel; ISA
Brown, the Netherlands; and Shika Brown, National Animal
Production Research Institute, Zaria, Nigeria.

4. Nigeria has an estimated 150 million birds: 70 million on
commercial farms and 80 million belonging to "informal" or
backyard farmers. Industry sources said about half of
Nigeria's commercial poultry production came from small-
scale producers, who have between 100 and 5,000 birds.
Large-scale poultry production, by farmers with 50,000 or
more birds, accounted for a little less than 20% of
Nigeria's commercial output, while medium-scale farmers
produced the remainder.

5. Close to 80% of Nigeria's total poultry production is
concentrated in the country's southwest, but production is
scattered throughout the country. Poultry products from the
southwest are transported as far as Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano,
mainly by car, truck, or bus. Some companies export to
neighboring countries, especially the Republic of Benin,
often informally through Nigeria's relatively porous
borders.

6. Major distributors buy eggs at farms' gates and transport
them to major markets in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, and
Nigeria's state capitals. In the cities, sub-distributors
sell to retailers. These retailers range from supermarkets
to street kiosks. Some egg producers brand their eggs and
sell in leading supermarkets.

7. For poultry meat, sellers transport live birds to
designated markets. Small producers supply smaller
customers and local wet markets, which are common and sell
live birds in an open environment. Customers slaughter
their purchases. Large-scale producers who own processing
facilities distribute their products through supermarkets
and retail meat outlets. Mainly commercial farms supply
hotels, supermarkets, and restaurants, as well as stores in
urban centers.

Comment
-------

8. The decentralized nature of Nigeria's poultry industry
has made controlling avian influenza (AI) difficult.
Nigerians' propensity to raise backyard flocks, even in
cities, increases the risk that AI may be transmitted to
humans. The Government of Nigeria's (GON) delay in adopting
a compensation policy which pays for birds that die as well
as those culled and which pays promptly, means small farmers

ABUJA 00001791 002.2 OF 002


bear the greatest financial loss and have little incentive
to report outbreaks. While unofficial (unauthorized) bird
vaccinations are increasingly common in Nigeria, small
farmers are least able to pay for inoculations. Nigeria's
informal poultry farmers will continue to be a weak link in
the response to AI until the GON's compensation policy gives
more consideration to the country's backyard farmers.
FUREY

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