Poultry farmers in Plateau have decried the importation of frozen poultry products into the Nigeria and have started advocacy to put a stop to the trend.
The Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Plateau chapter, John Dasar, made this disclosure at a sensitisation workshop organised for stakeholders on Tuesday in Jos.
Mr. Dasar explained that the health hazard of consuming such imported poultry products was high.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop which had the theme: ''Economic and Health Implications of Smuggled Poultry Products'' was jointly organised by PAN, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The chairman said the rationale behind the workshop was to sensitise the public to consume only wholesome poultry products from the Plateau and Nigeria in general.
Mr. Dasar said that the major bane of the poultry industry in the country was the unwholesome smuggling of frozen poultry products despite the ban by the Federal Government.
According to him, the total fight against this illegal activity would not only make the industry experience rapid growth, but would as well create more jobs for the teeming youths.
''The importation of these poultry products into Nigeria is really killing our business and it is also a major draw back for the industry.
''If we are able to totally stop the consumption of imported poultry products, the local industry within a short time will thrive; it will create a lot of jobs for the unemployed.
''So, we will not sit down and allow things go wrong; we stand firmly to ensure this ugly activity is nipped in the bud,'' he said.
In a keynote address, the Director General of NAFDAC, Paul Orhii, represented by Josephine Dayilim, said the consumption of imported poultry products had high health implications.
Mrs. Dayilim said the buying of smuggled products does not only encourage economic sabotage but also damages the human system, hence warned the public to desist from consuming it.
Also, PAN National President, Onalo Abbah, commended the Plateau chapter for organising the sensitisation programme.
He said that the chapter was the first in the North-Central zone to replicate the campaign against the importation of smuggled products.
The president said the poultry industry in Nigeria was doing well, as it was the largest producer of eggs, but however, decried the activity of smugglers.
''We must collectively fight this menace, package our local products with some sense of decency, otherwise we will continue to go down the drain,'' he urged.
Abbah further charged poultry farmers to take bio-security measures very seriously so as to save the industry from total collapse.
In a goodwill message, Co-Chairman, Plateau House Committee on Agriculture, Peter Ibrahim, assured the farmers that the Assembly would enact laws that would enable poultry business remain viable in the state.
He tasked farmers to be more proactive in sustaining the ban on importation of frozen poultry products into the country.