SON targets increased animal, poultry production with new standards
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has concluded plans to develop new standards for animal and livestock production in line with the Federal Government’s efforts to boost food security.
According to the agency, the Standards were also developed to hedge the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic on key sectors such as agriculture through its increased implementation of Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).
Speaking at the Work Group meeting hosted virtually in Lagos, the Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said the meeting on the development of six standards would boost agribusiness in the country.
The virtual meeting was hosted by SON as part of an ongoing Livestock Micro Reforms in Agribusiness (L-MIRA) World Bank project on Cattle Feed Value Chain in collaboration with SON.
Aboloma, who was represented by the Deputy Director/Head Food Group of the agency, Dr. Omolara Okunlola, explained that standards development was achieved through a consensus of relevant parties and academics coming together to elaborate requirements for various sectors of the economy.
Aboloma said the effort was focused on the development of standards in the livestock sector and over the years.
According to Aboloma, the Standards considered by the Work Group were borne out of an urgent demand and relevance of the animal/livestock feed value chain with the work group specifically working on the following vital areas to boost agribusiness in the country.
He said elaboration of the Standards for Salt Mineral Lick, which prescribes the specification for common salt as mineral licks for animal consumption, was necessary by ensuring proper proportioning as well as improving the adequate amount of minerals for effective productivity in animals.
He said other requirements specified were that of blood meal as an ingredient in fish meal production to ensure adequacy in meeting the protein requirements in fish farming.
He said such feats would assist the feed manufacturers in compounding balance, protein ration and guide fish farmers in the selection of appropriate feed and feed ingredients.
Aboloma said the elaboration of the Standard for Small Ruminant Feed was also established, and will also guide feed manufacturers in compounding balanced ratios for small ruminants such as goats and sheep.
“It will enhance meat and dairy in small ruminant production thereby contributing to the country’s gross domestic product in agribusiness.
“While the elaboration of Standard for Small Ruminant Feed Premix was found necessary as small ruminants (sheep and goats) are increasingly becoming major sources of animal protein recently contributing over 30% of total meat supply in the country.
“The standard is therefore to guide Premix manufacturers in compounding premixes for Small ruminant’s feed and also feed millers/livestock farmers in deciding the kind of premixes that suits a small ruminant’s requirement in enhancing sheep and goat production,” he said.
The Work Group also elaborated the standards for wheat bran as a livestock feed because of its high demand due and nutritional value, adding that it’s also a cheap source of protein, and has high fibre content, which enhances digestion process in animals and birds.
He said the elaboration of the standards was to serve as a guide for manufacturers of the product, to ensure quality retention.
The Standards for conserved forage feed for ruminants was established to assist and guide the feed producers in production and processing of forages for ruminants, and to enhance the production of conserved forages.