Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) is working in collaboration with stakeholders in feed industry sector to develop a roadmap for animal feed security.
The roadmap is to also actualise President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s agenda to leverage on the agricultural sector for wealth creation, employment generation and diversification of the economy.
Declaring open the first national animal feed summit in Abuja yesterday the minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar who was represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said the summit was apt as its outcome will sustain the achievements and proffer solutions that will surmount complex challenges stirred up by COVID-19 pandemic in animal feed sector.
The minister noted that to enable effective transformation in the animal feed sector, Nigeria must embark on livestock feed production, promote industrialisation and establishment of national strategic feed and ingredient reserve centre among others. He added that the ministry would give attention to the animal feed need of farmers in the country through an enduring policy that will transform Nigeria’s livestock and agriculture for the benefit of the citizenry.
According to him, the federal government will also step up its development plan to provide incentives to feed millers and agribusiness companies located in rural areas where feed ingredients are largely available, improve on the level of education of farmers on modern animal and feed production techniques,
support various research institutes in developing alternative feed ingredients in providing animal feeds to ameliorate the effects of high cost of feed.
He added that to support the livestock farmers and alleviate the cost of feeds, the ministry had procured and distributed ruminant feed concentrates, salt licks, finished feeds to small-holder farmers in addition to approval of the president to release 5000mt of maize from the strategic food reserve to Poultry Association of Nigeria for the feed industry.
In his remarks, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe urged participants to use the platform to engage stakeholders and come up with a blueprint for attaining sustainable animal feed security in the country.