Prince Adesina Adeola is the Representative of Al Amin Group at the ongoing 10th Gateway Trade fair in Abeokuta. In this interview with Nigerian NewsDirect, he speaks on the exploits of his organization and the need for agriculture to receive support of the government. Excerpts
Can you intro duce yourself and why you are at the 10th Trade Fair?
I am Prince Adesina Adeola. I represent Al’Amin Group where we produce giant Catfish, and Tilapia Fish. Also, Laying Birds, Eggs, then Broilers that is for the table Chicken, Cocoa and Plantain. From our farm, if we have the resources, we will feed the whole of Western states with protein source because we do an average of 100 tonnes of fish in a week.
In a week…?
Yes, and all these go to the East. So, if there is support from government we will do more.
So, what do you see about importation of fish, with the presence of group of companies like yours?
Importation of fish, you know, like I said now, if we have resources, we would do more than we are doing so that we don’t need to rely on fish importation. I don’t support fish importation and chicken importation because we don’t know the kind of preservatives that was given to these items before getting to our shores
You said when you have support, what kind of support are you expecting from the government?
Yes! We have the Bank of Industry and then…?
How many serious farmers have accessed the loan? How many? Tell me, how many serious farmers? Have you applied?
Well, we are not here to waste our own time. If the government deems it fit that they want to really support agriculture, they are supposed to look for the farmers. Not farmers wasting their time to see them and doing nothing. Those who are accessing are friends to politicians. Doing what? Somebody that has never seen a pod of cocoa before, will go there and take billions of Naira that is for Cocoa farmers
How are you handling risk, such as nature, associated with farming?
Well, risk is money if it is well managed. So nature-risk is inevitable. It is a natural occurrence. When it comes, well, is just a minor that is part of what I’m saying because if there is support, we will know that if there is natural hazard, okay, that some percentage will come in the way of farmers
In what way are you adding value to farming in Nigeria?
Packaging, the quality of the products, we don’t just push out eggs, we don’t just push out frozen chicken, it has to be well processed starting from the well-fortified ration given to them. So, like chicken now, my broilers are always very heavy because I’m a professional and I know what to do to bring my broilers to a very lively state. So is just the quality of the product then probably the packaging, then market strategy. Like now, my fish goes to the East. I have a very good price. People here don’t eat fish. If you were here yesterday, you will see the kind of fish we displayed and so if somebody wants to go away with that fish, you pay N47,000. How many of us will like to pay N47,000 for just one fish?
What about the serving the local industry, Now, we have so many malls springing up everywhere in Nigeria, so many of them. In what ways are the local farmers benefiting from such industry?
Well the local industry, you know, the farmers are ready to supply the market but are those operators ready to patronize the farmers because of their price? We expect an entity like Mr. Biggs, Chicken Republic and the rest to patronize made in Nigerian Chicken because the imported foreign chicken is loaded with hazards. That is the preservatives of fermerlin. Go and test it, Fermerlin. That’s what is being used in preserving corpse and that’s what they used most of the time in preserving those chicken. If you travel along our border side, it’s either you see heaps of frozen chicken by the bush. Why? Because law enforcement agents are after them. And those chickens will spend like 48-72 hours there. But chicken like mine cannot stay more than 3 hours because it is fresh and very very hygienic.