The Federal Government says it will provide incentives to feed millers and agribusiness companies and support various research institutes to develop alternative feed ingredients for the production of animal feeds.
This was recently disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar, during the opening of the maiden edition of the National Animal Feed Summit themed, “Developing a Roadmap for Animal Feed Security in Nigeria,” held in Abuja.
According to Abubakar, animal feed accounted for over 70 percent of the cost of animal production, thereby making it the most important consideration in livestock business.
This, he noted, has fuelled the Federal Government’s decision to check the high cost of feeds in the country.
Abubakar stated that if the feed sector was properly harnessed, it would engage over 20 million Nigerians. He added that the industry is yet to reach 25 percent of its market size.
The minister further stated that the feed sector engages over five million Nigerians directly or indirectly as technical or skilled personnel, distributors, fabricators of tools and machinery, input suppliers among others.
Abubakar who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, pointed out that in 2016, the Nigerian feed industry produced an average of 5.5 million metric tonnes of animal feed per annum comprising 85 percent of poultry feeds.
“Nigeria will succeed. Nigeria will unleash hope for its livestock farmers, as it accelerates a way forward for animal feed security.
“Nigeria must feed its animals to feed itself. And if it fully unlocks its livestock feed potentials, Nigeria can help feed Africa,” Abubakar stated.
The minister, however, expressed optimism in the emergence of commercial ruminant and swine feed in the industry, noting that this will lead to the sector producing about 50 million metric tonnes per annum of animal feed.
He further stated that part of the measures towards addressing the high cost of animal feed as well as enhancing its production was to incentivise feed mills to be located in rural areas where feed ingredients were largely available.
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