The Federal Government and Tuns Farms Limited, on Friday, signed a N25 billion Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on National Egg Production Scheme (NEGPRO).
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while Chairman, Tuns Farms Ltd, Asiwaju Olatunde Badmus, signed on behalf of his company, Tuns Farms Ltd.
Ogbeh expressed optimism that the signing of the MoU will boost the protein nutrition of the school feeding programme about to be flagged off by the government. He said: “It is an interesting development, and today we are talking about a Nigerian successful farmer rather than a foreigner from a distant place to render service which before now would have been impossible. “It also shows clearly that we are growing even though there are challenges with the agriculture development.
I know Tuns Farms Ltd. and how big it is in Osun State, and now it is the single broiler producer in Nigeria. “And now that you are moving into layers and give us the support we need, and we are happy to into go into agreement with you on an MoU…We are ready to give you every support you need to encourage you to keep growing and to grow others…” “We are about to begin a huge school feeding programme. We need to give every child, at least three eggs per week, if not an egg per day. We need these children to have greater sources of protein in their diet, because to us, we need them to develop mentally and physically because where the only diet of these children is carbohydrate, it does this country no good.
According to the Minister, the scheme will help advance capacity to feed Nigerians and also increase economic activities in rural areas. The BoI has a role in providing finance for the take-off of the scheme.
Earlier in his speech Chairman, Tuns Farms, Olatunde Badmus, disclosed that the company was saddled under the MoU to produce 50 million eggs and create employment for 1 million people. His words, “The terms of reference of the MoU was that the Ministry appointed us as consultants and scheme manager, and they gave five terms.
One, to create 1 million employment through this scheme, then produce 50 million table eggs on daily basis from 2018, and it has to be a gradual process. It involves three of us: the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Tuns Farms, and the Bank of Industry.
“The Ministry of Agriculture will assist the BoI to access N25 billion from Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, under the agricultural scheme. The BoI will in turn find some selected commercial banks that will participate in the disbursement and recouping of the N25 billion anchor borrower facility from the CBN.
“The beauty of it is that the loan under this programme is single digit interest rate, so we are not paying any higher interest due to the support from the Ministry of Agric.
So with that to create 1 million employment to produce about 50 million eggs and also to have sufficient eggs and both eggs for the school children meal in the country and that is what it is all about. And to make sure that every local government is made to be able to produce eggs in the school children programme.”