The Federal Government through its Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has embarked on series of activities to positively transform the animal feed sector and ultimately enhance food security in the country.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar hinted this in his keynote address during the First National Animal Feed Security Summit, in Abuja on Thursday, September 23, 2021.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that the spike in prices of animal products such as Eggs, Meat and Milk in the country are as a result of increase in the cost of feed.
Dr. Abubakar who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe said that ‘’ to transform the animal feed sector, Nigeria must embark on livestock feed production, industrialization, Feed Value Chain Development, Development of National Animal Feed and Feed Safety Policy, among others’’.
He revealed that the ministry procured and distributed ruminant feed concentrates, salt licks, finished feeds to small-holder farmers across the country to support livestock farmers alleviate the cost of feeds.
Dr. Mahmood Abubakar stated that the issue of animal feed and human food security was a priority agenda, he said:
“The Ministry has been committed to the development of the nation’s feed industry by making budgetary provision for capacity building on Alternative Ingredients such as cassava peels and cocoa pod with supply of cottage feed-block mold in some states in the East and West of Nigeria based on comparative advantage”, he explained.
The Minister disclosed that the livestock sub- sector alone “engages over 5 million Nigerians directly or indirectly as technical or skilled personnel, distributors, fabricators of tools and machinery, input suppliers and generates massive employment across various value chains and strengthens the national social safety net with copious contributions to food security, household income and poverty reduction’’.
He commended President Muhammmadu Buhari for granting the approval for the release of 500Mt of maize from the Strategic Food Reserve to the Poultry Association of Nigeria for the Feed Industry to alleviate the suffering of the livestock farmers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In her goodwill message, the Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Dr Ramat Tijjani Aliyu, represented by the Acting Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Ishaq Sadeeq, said the FCT administration had intensified the provision of necessary infrastructure in the four grazing reserves and has encouraged investors to embark on commercial production and conservation of pasture in the FCT.
In his address, the Chairman, Senate committee on Agriculture, Sen. Abdullai Adamu represented by Sen. Halliru Danda Jika, said that the stakeholders should look into small and large ruminant feeds in line with some state Government’s policies of promoting ranching by enacting the anti-open grazing in their various states, adding that there is huge potentials in that area as some companies are already into production of pelleted grasses.