Expert seeks government, private support to improve livestock farming

Tunde Amole, Country Representative of International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), on Friday, solicited government and private sector support for feeds production so as to improve livestock production in the country.
Amole, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, identified paucity of livestock feeds as the major challenge facing the development of the country’s livestock farming sector.
He said that the inadequate availability of livestock feeds contributed to the high cost and low quality of egg, meat and milk, among other products.
“To improve livestock farming, the government and interest-based organisations in the country should invest more in the production of animal feeds.
“Poor quality feeds severely cripple the development of livestock farming in Nigeria. For example, natural grass and herbage in northern Nigeria, where the bulk of the livestock are raised, produce less than the minimum of six per cent protein.
“The low protein is not enough to meet the nutritional needs of the animals; therefore, there is increased weight loss in the animals.
“Animals that feed from this pasturage also have low-quality and low-quantity meat and milk.
“In order to improve livestock production in Nigeria, adequate attention should be paid to the animals’ nutrition. Low-cost feeds and supplements should be made available to livestock farmers,” he said.
Amole, who is also a livestock scientist, said that ILRI had been engaging farmers in livestock research to facilitate the discovery of useful technological methods and innovations that would improve livestock farming in the country.
He said that the institute had been training some livestock farmers in livestock feeding procedures; livestock feeds business opportunities and biotechnological techniques such as crop residue utilisation to improve the breed of their cattle.
“As an institute, we have been able to identify that one of the major problems we have in livestock production in Nigeria is livestock feeding and feeding is critical in the dry season.
“This is why we have been training farmers in crop residue utilisation, which is how to conserve feeds for the dry season, so that our cattle will not have problems, while improving the productivity of livestock farming.
“However, farmers alone cannot boost and strengthen the production and improvement of livestock feed resources. This is why the government and private support is important.
“Livestock feeds production is a business opportunity that we have yet to explore.
“Livestock feeds production involves the manufacturing of animal feeds like poultry or chicken feeds, cattle feeds, goat feeds, dog food, bird food and several other types with raw agricultural ingredients like corn.
“Wheat, sorghum, forage, vitamins, additives and minerals are combined to form nutritious feeds that are tailored towards the animals’ specific dietary needs.
“While there are several agribusinesses that have high potential for profitability, livestock feeds production is a great one to venture into, if executed at the right scale, with a broad diversity in the animal feeds produced for the local markets and exports,’’ Amole said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *