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April 20, 2024

FG, stakeholders partner to boost animal feed production

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By Doris Esa
The Federal Government and its development partners have proffered a roadmap for National Alternative Feed Resources to reduce cost of production and effects of incessant price volatility in the animal feed industry.
 Mrs  Anthonia Eremah, Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar,  said this at the 2nd National Animal Feed Summit in Abuja.
Abubakar said that the theme of the summit, “Harnessing Alternative Feed Resources for Sustainable Animal Feed Supply”, aligned with the aspirations and agenda of the Federal Government to improve the Animal Feed Policy.
He said the theme also aligned with Federal Government’s agenda to improve the Feed Value Chain, Feed Quality Control and Safety, National Strategic Feed Reserve amongst others.
Abubakar said that the role of animal feed in Nigeria’s  Agriculture sector was critical as it would provide essential nutrients and support for livestock and production.
He said that the animal feed market was characterised by a mix of small and large scale, traditional and modern methods and with challenges such as lack of access to credit and markets, low investment in Research and Development amongst others.
Abubakar said that to meet the increasing demand for animal feed in Nigeria, there was need for innovation and technology to develop sustainable and efficient production methods which would support small scale and rural communities.
He urged stakeholders to deliberate on a single platform, strategies and come up with robust implementable National Animal Feed policy.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, of the ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said that the animal feed industry in Nigeria was far from meeting national sufficiency in production.
Umakhihe said that this was because Nigeria was known to produce an average of 5.5 million tonnes  per annum comprising 85 per cent  poultry feeds.
He said Nigeria has the potential to grow not less than 50 million metric tonnes per annum if the commercial ruminant and swine feeding sub-sectors were harnessed.
The permanent secretary,  was represented by Dr Imeh Umoh, Director Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Developmènt.
He said that the Feed sector had the potential to engage over 20 million Nigerians, as the industry was yet to reach 25 per cent of its market size.
Umakhihe said Nigeria’s animal feed sector remained underdeveloped due to high cost of ingredients and other production factors.
He said that these resulted in market dislocation and hampered access to products.
“These challenges have necessitated the need for the National Animal Feed Summit,” he said.
In a goodwill message, the Managing Partner, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition, Mr Temi Adegoroye, said that achieving food security in Nigeria was a non-negotiable goal that required all collaborative stakeholders in Nigeria.
“As we gather here today, we must leverage our comparative advantage to proffering solutions to the challenges in the Animal Feed.
“As we continue to experience the impact of climate change in Agriculture activities, we need to explore sustainable practices in animal feed production to guarantee farmers access to affordable feed all year round,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vivian Ihechu
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