The recently proposed ban on “kpomo”, a Nigerian delicacy which serves as cheaper substitute to meat for the poor, has generated reactions from some stakeholders in agribusiness.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that kpomo is made from hides and skins of domestic animals such as goat, sheep, and cow.
Imal Silva, agropreneur and advocate for sustainable agriculture, appealed to the Federal Government not to ban kpomo for the sake of the people that have made it their special delicacy.
Silva said people above 40 years of age could not eat much of regular meat, as such kpomo was more ideal for them, and there were some tribes that kpomo was part of their delicacy .
“The government should not say because some people are making good money exporting hides and skins, then stop the poor people who also buy it to cook and eat,” he said.
Silva urged the Federal Government to rear more cattles so that there would be enough to eat and export.
He also appealed to exporters of cow skin to partner with different stakeholders in the cattle business to use the opportunity to rear more cattle.
Silva added that they should sell beef meat as well as hides and make more money from partnerships.
“There is also the need to look for more alternatives to cow skin, both animal and plant options,” he said.
Mallam Farouk Hassan, a meat seller in Abuja said the ban of kpomo was not what the people needed.
“If you ban kpomo, what is the alternative for it that people can afford?
“I am a meat seller and I have been doing this business for more that 20 years and I can tell you that kpomo is a life saver for many homes.
“What we need is for government to make the environment safer so that farmers can go back to farms.
This will also help animal rearing to improve,” Hassan said.
Mrs Folashade Ajewole, a farmer, appealed to government to reconsider its stand and look into the issue closely.
“Banning of kpomo is not the problem, what will be the alternative to kpomo for the people, do we have industries that will use the cow skin for the various shoes and bags we need?
” Ajewole wondered.
“Government needs to make the environment safer, let more people rear cattle as this will help because there will be more cattle to go round for eating and exporting,” she said.
NAN recalls that Prof. Muhammad Yakubu, the Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology, Zaria, had spoken on the decision to ban kpomo.
Yakubu disclosed that the decision to ban kpomo was geared towards resuscitating the moribond tanneries and leather industry in the country.
He said that the habit of eating animal skin, which had no nutritional value, should be stopped in order to save the industry and boost the nation’s economy.
The DG said the institute, in collaboration with stakeholders in the industry, would approach the National Assembly and state governments to bring out legislation banning consumption of kpomo.
The Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) Zaria, says it is proposing a legislation to ban the consumption of animal skin, locally known as Pomo, in the country Prof. Muhammad Yakubu, Director-General of institute, told News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja that the legislation was necessary to revive the comatose leather industry in the country.
According to him, the habit of eating animals skin, which has no nutritional value, should be stopped in order to save the industry and boost the nation’s economy.
“To the best of my knowledge, Nigerians are the only people in the world that over value skin as food, after all Pomo has no nutritional value,“ he said.
The D-G said the institute, in collaboration with stakeholders in the industry, would approach National Assembly and state governments to bring out legislation banning Pomo consumption.
“At a point, there was a motion before the two chambers of the National Assembly, it was debated, but I don`t know how the matter was thrown away“ he said.
According to him, the consumption of animals skin is partly responsible for the present comatose state of tanneries in Nigeria.
“If we get our tanneries, our footwear and leather production working well in Nigeria, people will hardly get Pomo to buy and eat,’’ Yakubu said.
The D-G also said that the current National Leather Policy had addressed some fundamental problems of the sector.
“When implemented fully, it would turn around most of the comatose tanneries and ginger greater output in production,’’ he said.
He appealed to stakeholders to support the legislation and the national leather policy to revive to revive the sector.
NAN reports that NILEST was set up to promote leather production as provided in the Agricultural Research Institute Act of 1975. It conducts research into all aspects of production and products of leather and utilization of local tanning materials in the country.