Livestock accounts for over 40% of global Agric GDP, says FG
The Nigerian government says Livestock sub-sector accounts for more than 40 per cent of the global agricultural Gross Domestic Product.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Ernest Umakhihe represented by the Director services Animal Husbandry Mrs. Winnie Lai-Solarin stated this at the opening of a training for farmers on the utilization of low-grade grains, noted that the utilization of the cheapest and most available livestock feed was a major challenge facing farmers in Nigeria.
He listed the cheap feed resources to include crop residues (rice, maize, ground nut and cassava by-products, animal processing wastes, and brewery wastes, among others
“Such feeds must be cost effective. Nutritious animal feed is essential for development and productivity of animals, especially food animals.
“In Nigeria, animal feed remains a challenge to animal husbandry practices, largely due to high cost of animal feeds, which are not readily available and where they are, they are not easily affordable by an average farmer,” he said.
He expresses optimism that the training would also provide the required knowledge to sustain livestock through reduced availability of animal feed ingredients, labour, processing facilities, inputs and services.
In her address, Lai-Solarin said that the ministry was determined to support all agricultural farmers to improve their production process to achieve feed and food security.
“It is an established fact that feed constitutes about 70 per cent of the cost of livestock production.
“Therefore, subsidizing the cost of feed production will not only increase the farmers’ profit, but also sustain their interest,” she added.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, a participant, Mr Eimoga Francis of Ampersand Farms, said the event was timely, as it would address the challenge of animal feed to animal husbandry practices.
The farmers were also trained on making alternative feed ingredients for climate smart animal feed production.
The sub-sector also provides more than 33 per cent of the World’s protein intake.
Lucy Offoboche / punch