20.8 C
June 21, 2024

FG Considers Revamping Feed, Fodder Sector to Address Farmer/Herder Clashes

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sabi Abdullahi, has called for the development of a viable feed and fodder sector in Nigeria, noting that this would unlock several economic potentials and address the long-standing farmer-herder conflicts. 

Speaking at the inauguration of the Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems (RAFFS) project in Nigeria, a multi-stakeholder platform in collaboration with the African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), the minister pointed out the role of the sector in ensuring peace and prosperity in the country.

The Minister noted that developing Nigeria’s feed and fodder sector is key to creating a new economic hub focused on food and nutrition security. This project, he noted, will greatly contribute to President Bola Tinubu’s vision for economic prosperity. 

During the event held in Abuja, the minister stressed the role of the livestock sector in the national economy. He noted that the global livestock economy is valued at approximately $3.3 trillion, with Nigeria’s own estimate at about N33 trillion.

Abdullahi further urged Nigerian youth to utilize the opportunity to create technology-driven solutions. This would help transform the feed and fodder sector into a data-driven, evidence-based industry.

In her address, Sarah Ashanut Ossiya, project lead for the Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems (RAFFS), stressed the need to invest in the feed and fodder sector to accelerate food security across Africa. 

Ossiya commended Nigeria for taking the lead in establishing the Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP). She expressed confidence in the country’s leadership and projected a positive turnaround in the sector within the next few years. 

She also lamented that livestock-sourced food products are viewed as luxury items in Africa, stating that these should be accessible dietary choices rather than expensive commodities.

According to Ossiya, the unstructured nature of the feed and fodder sector has led to economic hardship for livestock farmers across the continent.

Winnie Lai-Solarin, director of Animal Husbandry Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, commended stakeholders for their efforts. 

She noted that the multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) is a huge step towards policy reform and will help create a conducive environment for the feed and fodder industry. 

According to her, the ministry is working with financial institutions to create new business models and investment opportunities, aiming to drive development in the sector.

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