The University of Makeni (UniMak) partnered with Social Business Development (SDB) to hold its inaugural Poultry Day at the university’s Makeni campus. The event brought together key players in the poultry industry to discuss strategies for achieving self-sufficiency in egg production by 2029.

Poultry Day aimed to raise awareness about the ambitious goal of eliminating egg imports by 2029. Participants explored methods to achieve this, including implementing improved poultry management practices and effective vaccination programs to boost bird health and productivity.

SDB, a promoter of sustainable development through agriculture and food supply chains, shared its expansion plans for feed production, a crucial element for industry growth.

Guest speaker Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, an agricultural economist and chairman of the Presidential Initiative on Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Food Security (PI-CREF), emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts.

“Success requires strong partnerships between the public, private sector, academic institutions, and others,” Dr. Yumkella said. “UniMak and N’jala Universities can be central hubs for the Feed Salone Programme, driving progress in the north and south of the country, respectively.”

Dr. Yumkella pointed out that Sierra Leone, with the right partnerships and commitment, could achieve self-sufficiency in egg production within the next 2-3 years. He highlighted the threat of climate change to the sector and the need for building climate-resilient systems.

SDB CEO Mr. Francesco Zanchi urged the government to strengthen quality control measures on imported eggs to protect consumers from diseases. He also called for a tax system that incentivizes investment in the poultry sector.

Zanchi revealed that SDB’s affiliate, Lion Poultry, currently operates a feed mill producing one ton per hour, with plans to increase capacity to six tons per hour.

Dr. Abdulai Palmo Jalloh, Chief Agriculturist at the Ministry of Agriculture, announced a $10 million, zero-interest agricultural grant program for farmers. He encouraged poultry farmers to visit the Ministry’s website for details and reiterated the ministry’s commitment to supporting increased poultry production through the Feed Salone Programme.