Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has said that his government will encourage the intake of pork as an alternative to beef to save millions of naira which the state is losing to other states that supply cow and other meat sources.
Akeredolu said this on Monday at the commissioning of an Ultra-modern big Dutchman Piggery and its supporting facilities at Ilutoro in Akure North Local Government Area of the state as part of activities marking his 100days in office.
According to the governor, the money that is lost to other states that supply cows and other meat would have remained within to lubricate the state’s economy.
He also said that apart from its jobs creating capability for the youths, dietary intake of lovers of pork would be enhanced, pork being an alternative to beef.
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“More to that, our rural areas would also be opened up for development.
“It is mind-boggling that millions of Naira leave this State weekly on beef consumption, in form of capital flight.
“Money that would have remained within to lubricate the economy of the State is lost to other states that supply cow and other meat sources.
“This informed our decision to address the ugly trend by encouraging the production of a homegrown alternative in piggery and pig processing on one hand, and also to create veritable means of empowerment and employment for our teeming youths on the other hand.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is currently going through serious economic challenges.
“Youth unemployment is a scourge that has rendered a large percentage of our youth in Nigeria productively unengaged despite constituting over 60% of the population.
“Ondo State is no exception in this disturbing scenario as a large proportion of its youths are unemployed or underemployed despite the numerous opportunities that could be harnessed and transformed into economic activities.
“I am aware of the problems confronting pig farmers as a result of urbanisation and lateral expansion of towns and cities which is gradually displacing our farms and rural dwellers.
“Despite the fact that our administration is doing a lot to reverse this trend, we believe more is still needed to be done,” Akeredolu said.