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.
Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Anthonia Eremah, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, was quoted to have said this at the 2nd National Animal Feed Summit in Abuja.
Abubakar said 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, the Feed Value Chain, Feed Quality Control and Safety, and National Strategic Feed Reserve amongst others.
He said the role of animal feed in Nigeria’s Agriculture sector is critical, as it provides essential nutrients and support for livestock and production.
He said the animal feed market is 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 argued that to meet the increasing demand for animal feed in Nigeria, there was a need for innovation and technology to develop sustainable and efficient production methods which will 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.
To meet the increasing demand for animal feed in Nigeria, there was a need for innovation and technology to develop sustainable and efficient production methods…
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said 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 (mtpa) comprising 85 per cent poultry feeds.
He said Nigeria has the potential to grow to about 50mtpa if the commercial ruminant and swine feeding sub-sectors were harnessed.
Umakhihe, represented by the Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Imeh Umoh, said the feed sector has the potential to engage over 20 million Nigerians, as the industry was yet to reach 25 per cent of its market size.
He said the sector remained underdeveloped due to high cost of ingredients and other production factors, resulting 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, Temi Adegoroye, said achieving food security in Nigeria is a non-negotiable goal that requires all stakeholders’ collaboration.
“As we gather here today, we must leverage our comparative advantage to proffer 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)