The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and developmental partners in the livestock sub-sector have called for the use of alternative feed ingredients to enhance animal feed supply, reduce the cost of production and boost the economy.
This was revealed during a capacity-building programme held in Gwagwalada, Abuja, where stakeholders in the livestock sub-sector were provided with the necessary knowledge and solutions to overcome the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, flood and insecurity.
The permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe represented by the director, animal husbandry services, Mrs. Winnie Lai Solarin stated that the programme is in line with the present administration’s agenda to leverage the agricultural sector for wealth creation, employment generation and diversification of the economy.
He noted that the livestock sub-sector supports over one billion people globally, accounting for over 40 per cent of global agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) and provides over 33 per cent of the world’s protein intake.
To optimise the utilisation of alternative feed ingredients to produce at a minimal cost, Umakhihe urged beneficiaries to make adequate use of the capacity-building skills acquired from the programme.
Solarin also revealed that feed constitutes about 70 per cent of the cost of livestock production and, as such, subsidising the cost of feed production would not only increase farmers’ profits but also sustain their interest. She added that the ministry is determined to support feed millers with enhanced production processing methods, which would lead to an increase in feed production, food and nutrition security and better income.
The director-general of the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), Dr. Yunusa Ishiaku in his goodwill message, appealed to participants to utilise the knowledge acquired from the programme for sustainable animal feed production.
A statement from the ministry’s director of information signed by Mabel Obed said the programme was attended by development partners, farmers, feed millers representatives and cooperative groups, among others
It added that the FMARD’s initiative to advocate for alternative feed ingredients in the livestock sector is a commendable effort that would not only improve animal feed supply and reduce the cost of production but also boost the economy and create employment opportunities in the agricultural sector.