Two men, Ayodele Olalekan and Babangida Nwunyi, were on Tuesday arraigned before a Masaka Upper Area Court in Nasarawa State for alleged criminal conspiracy. The accused persons of Jankawa Village, Masaka, are standing trial on a five-count charge of conspiracy, defamation of character, impersonation, criminal intimidation and attempt to “commit an offence to wit cheating”….
By Steve Agbota
DOMESTICALLY, the animal feed industry has been hampered by the lack of quality feed, poor government support for farmers and unavailability of young stock. Notwithstanding Nigeria is estimated to rake in over N800 billion from the sector as consumption is increasing daily.
At present, the total supply of all the locally produced feedstock does not appear to be sufficient to meet demands, especially with respect to the animal protein supplements that are currently imported.
The global animal feed market can be segmented into five divisions based on livestock: poultry, swine, ruminant, aquaculture and others, and the cost of their feeding is on the high side especially the pet animals, which are also known as companion animals.
The major ingredients in animal feed are maize and soybeans. Other raw materials that can be used to produce animal feed include groundnut, sorghum, and cassava and the major diets ingredients include cereals, fats and oils, which provide the protein and energy required for animals to maintain good health.
Daily Sun investigations reveal that indirect devaluation of the naira had impacted negatively on the major raw materials for producing animal feed, especially the maize and soybean. There is a pest ravaging maize production presently in Nigeria, which farmers are still battling to find a lasting solution to.
Though the Alltech Global Feed ranking in 2015 put Nigeria as one of the world’s largest emerging animal feeds producers with a better opportunity to penetrate the international animal feeds export market. The ranking put Nigeria’s feed sector as number 40 in the world out of 130 leading animal feed producing countries in the world, representing a significant progress from the previous ranking of number 51.
The Registrar of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), Dr. Oyedele Oyesiji, who announced the ranking recently, said there was a significant rise in the livestock sector in 2014 and 2015, particularly in aquaculture production and the poultry meat sector.
In 2015, NIAS statistics revealed that Nigeria hit 5.3 million metric tonnes of animal feeds with the following breakdown: egg, 3.1 million metric tonnes; chicken meat,1.08 million metric tonnes; aquaculture, 647,750 metric tonnes; pork, 265,000 metric tonnes; milk, 53,000 metric tonnes; beef, 41,250 metric tonnes; pet foods, 35,000 metric tonnes respectively.
Stakeholders who spoke to Daily Sun, said Nigeria can do better by moving from the current 40th position to at least 10th if government renders right support by giving farmers inputs at subsidised rate and fixing farm extension services, which are a major setback in agricultural sector.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hi-Nutrient Limited, Olabode Adetoyi, said that Nigeria is self-sufficient in animal feed locally but that the only problem was the economic crisis facing the country, which is impacting negatively on the prices of raw materials used in animal feed production.
He added: “We are already producing at high capacity of more than 85 per cent but the indirect devaluation of naira has impacted on the prices of ingredients we use to manufacture these ingredients. Apart from that, inadequate supply of maize and soybean, which are also consumed by human beings due to high population in Nigeria, has also impacted animal feed production. The solution to it is for government to provide enabling environment for the agricultural sector by setting aside more money for people to do commercial agriculture.”
He said that government should stop doing agriculture intervention on the pages of newspapers and television, noting that Nigerian farmers are not getting intervention fund from the government narning the authority was just paying lip service to the issue, while urging it to put its words into action.