FG To Revitalise Feed, Fodder Sector To Tackle Farmer-Herder Clashes

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FMARD Minister stakeholders
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abdullahi (fifth from right) flanked by other stakeholders during the project meeting held in Abuja.

In a move to address the ongoing farmer-herder conflicts in Nigeria, the Federal Government and African Union member states have taken swift actions to combat livestock feed shortages and prevent future feed-related disasters.

During the recent Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems (RAFFS) project meeting in Abuja, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sen Aliyu Abdullahi, emphasised the significance of the gathering for Nigeria. He affirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting the meeting’s outcomes, highlighting that this initiative should have been undertaken two decades ago, but it’s never too late to start.

“I assure you of my full support, and I eagerly anticipate the results of this crucial mission. Going forward, we will intensify our efforts to ensure that this platform becomes a leading force in Africa and beyond,” stated the minister.

In his address, director of AU-IBAR, Dr. Huyam Salih represented by the project lead of RAFFS, Dr. Sarah Ossiya praised Nigeria for being the fourth AU Member State to establish its National Feed and Fodder Multi-Stakeholder Platform, aligning with the decisions of African heads of state and government.

“This pivotal MSP will unite all key stakeholders to shape a structured and more effective feed and fodder sector. It will bolster a more productive, sustainable, and resilient livestock industry, leading to increased production of affordable livestock-based foods, trade capacity leveraging regional and continental opportunities, job creation—especially for women and youth—and resolving conflicts between herders and crop farmers,” emphasised Salih.

He urged participants to consider crucial questions regarding Nigeria’s feed and fodder sub-sector structure, drivers for growth, investment, and development objectives during the meeting.

The director AU-IBAR highlighted the importance of participants’ expertise and experience in shaping a functional MSP that addresses Nigeria’s feed and fodder challenges, emphasising the need for collective insights and innovation.

In her opening remarks, director of animal husbandry services, Mrs. Winnie Lai-Solarin mentioned that the animal feed system in Nigeria, including the feed and fodder document development, awaited validation. She stressed the timeliness of the Feed and Fodder Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) in Nigeria to actualize the directive.

Lai-Solarin encouraged active participation from attendees to achieve the feed and fodder objectives throughout the project.

The Feed and Fodder Business Development Expert, David Maina highlighted the objective of engaging industry players to establish the multi-stakeholder platform to address shared challenges exacerbated by COVID-19, drought and conflict.

Maina outlined four key areas identified to support the Ministry in addressing these issues: Data, Ecosystem, Gender Inclusion, and policy (for policy review and reform).

Representatives from various organizations attended the event, including Sustainable Agrotech Nig. Ltd, CDI, Seed Council, Sabore Farms, Sahel Consulting, Sterling Bank, and ILRI, among others.

A statement by the ministry’s director of information, Mrs. Anthonia Eremah, mentioned that the highlight of the event was the establishment of the MSP. 

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