FG hinges food security on improved animal feed production
Amid ban on open grazing by state governments to curtail insecurity challenges in the country and improve food production, the Federal Government has said the country cannot achieve the needed food security without ensuring animal feed production.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mahmood Abubakar, acknowledged that the country is currently facing a food crisis because farmers have been producing for human consumption alone without taking into cognisance feed for the livestock industry.
He said: “Nigeria must feed its animals to feed itself. And if it fully unlocks its livestock feed potential, Nigeria can help feed Africa. You can count on my personal support and that of the ministry as feed security is definitely food security.”
The Minister who stated this at the first National Animal Feed summit with the theme, “Developing a Roadmap for Animal feed Security in Nigeria”, said the issue of animal feed and human food security remains a priority on his agenda.
Abubakar who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said to improve animal feed security in the country, the government will provide incentives to feed millers and agribusiness companies to set up 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.
The House Committee on Agriculture Mutaru Dandutse, in his remarks, urged the security operatives to fish out the criminal herdsmen without fear or favour.
Also the Country Director, International Livestock Research Institute, Dr Tunde Amole, stressed that banning open grazing will not alone resolve the insecurity challenges in the country, rather the country should improve livestock feed sector.