Nigerian Government train over 50 millers on alternative animal feed production

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With the high cost of animal feed in the livestock industry, the Federal Government gives hope to livestock farmers as it builds capacity of over 50 feed millers on alternative feed production.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, at the capacity building and animal feeds distribution programmes organised by the Department of Animal Husbandry Services in the Ministry at Gwagwalada, Abuja, said the move became necessary as the livestock subsector supports over one billion persons globally.

Umakhihe who was represented by the Director, Special Duties in the Ministry, Fawsat Lawal, pointed that the high cost of animal feeds has forced many feed millers and livestock farmers out of business and are struggling to survive.

He also explained that the capacity building was in line with the Buhari-led administration’s diversification mantra using the agricultural sector to create wealth, employment and stabilize the economy.

Meanwhile, participants received large quantities of low grade grains and other raw materials free from the Ministry, and were drawn from three States including Nasarawa, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

He said: “It is with the realization of the strategic importance of the livestock subsector in the growth of our national economy that we are organizing this capacity building programme to teach our feed miller’s and livestock farmers alternative sources available to them to provide nutritious feeds for their animals at minimal cost.”

“The livestock subsector supports over one billion persons globally accounting for over 40 per cent of global agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) and provides over 35 per cent of the world’s protein intake.”

“It is gratifying to note that livestock’s contribution goes beyond meat, milk and eggs, but also plays an important role in climate change.”

Earlier, the Director, Department of Animal Husbandry Services, Winnie Lai-Solarin, in an address of welcome explained that the capacity building programme organized by the Ministry is a nationwide and is to assist livestock farmers and those along the value chain to improve their livelihood as far as feed and food security are concerned.

Lai-Solarin added that the essence of the capacity building was to educate and impact new skills and knowledge in the participants that would boost their business.

“Due to scarcity and high cost of feed ingredients there is a low production capacity of most feed mills.”

“Many farmers have been thrown out of business and some are involved in sharp practices that undermine the effectiveness of their activities on the environment.”

“Feed constitutes about 70 per cent of the cost of livestock production, therefore subsidizing the cost of feed production will not only increase their profit, but also sustain their interest”, Lai-Solarin said.

However, according to her training of farmers on feed formulation and utilization of alternative feed ingredients remains cardinal to reduce rate of competition between man and animal for conventional feed ingredients.


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