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Sierra Leone News: Salone produces 30m eggs and imports 168m, annually

It is estimated that about 100 Sierra Leone farmers own approximately 151,000 egg laying chickens that produce close to 30 million eggs annually. The current level of local egg production is just 18% of the country’s total annual demand for eggs. According to a study on the poultry sector by Sierra Leone Opportunities for Business Action (SOBA), in 2016, Sierra Leone imports 14 million eggs every month – that’s 168 million eggs a year.
Ahmed Nanoh, Executive Director of Sierra Leone Chamber of Agribusiness Development (SLaDEC) said they are working with poultry farmers to expand production capacity. “We know the production of local eggs is not enough for the market. We need to saturate the market with our own eggs.”
Nanoh said they are mentoring farmers on increasing their production levels, which will eventually lead to the reduction of imported eggs. “About $30 to 40 million USD annually is spent on importation.”
Eggs are a delicious, nutritious addition to a balanced diet. Nutritional value of one large egg: There are 74 calories in one large egg (whole). Calorie breakdown: 61% fat, 2% carbs, 37% protein.

The vast majority, 60%, of Sierra Leonean egg farmers are small-scale. Medium-scale farmers make up 35% of the population of farmers and only 5% of poultry farmers are commercial-scale.
Large-scale or commercial-scale farmers who house more than 5,000 egg layer chickens contribute 46% of the total annual egg production in Sierra Leone. Medium-scale farmers, who have 1,000-5,000 egg producers, contribute 42%, while small-scale farmers, with 100-1,000 layer birds, contribute only 12% of total annual egg production.
The SOBA study reports 73% of farmers (mostly small-scale) indicated their production decreased in 2016 compared to 2015. Only 18% recorded an increase in production. And, 9% indicated that their egg production capacity has remained the same.
The main reasons cited for this decline in egg production are related to the high cost of poultry feed, disease, absence or poor management and theft.
Underlining the challenges faced by farmers, Nanoh, of SLaDEC, said, “Without the right diet there will be vitamin and mineral deficiencies and the chickens will die or become stunted. The right quantity and quality of maize is also a concern.”
Farmer Frederick Hanciles, in Gloucester, said he started his farm six years ago. Production has been up-and-down because of capacity and finance. “One of the reasons for my break was because of pecking. I had to sell the chickens to avert a total loss. It took me eight-months to buy more stock and I had to the increase my space.”
Hanciles said the livestock sector could create employment opportunities. “Our fresh, local produce is full of protein. Most time the imported eggs go bad and that can lead to salmonella disease.”








By Zainab Joaque

Friday September 15, 2017.

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