BusinessDay

Maize, soybean yields to increase as agric institutes collaborate

The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), Premier Agribusiness Academy (PAA) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) are collaborating to build farmers’ capacity on maize, soybean production to boost the production of these grains.

The institutions have identified the shortage of maize and soybean – the two most important inputs in poultry feed as the main issue crippling the Nigerian poultry industry.

Eustace Iyayi, a professor and the registrar/CEO, Nigeria Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), while addressing stakeholders during a collaborative meeting held with PAA and IITA in Ibadan, Oyo State recently said, the unavailability of quality and affordable livestock feeds to farmers can be attributed to the shortfall in the local production of maize and soybean in the country.

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According to him, it became imperative for NIAS to pay attention to livestock feed production to avoid shortages, unprofitability, and indebtedness of farmers especially those still struggling to remain in business.

He pointed out that the solution to this lingering scarcity and the high price of maize and soybean was to increase local production through farmer participation.

Iyayi explained that, if farmers could be properly trained on global best practices in feed production, individual farmers would be able to independently make quality feeds needed for their livestock consumption.

He appealed for the collaboration of IITA in this regard.

Francis Toromade, director-general, PAA, assured of readiness to help train farmers on global most impactful practices (MIP) in maize and soybean production with the assistance of IITA.

According to him, IITA is renounced for quality research which has helped transform and develop agriculture practices all over the world.

Speaking on behalf of IITA, Sougrynoma Zainatou Soré, head -capacity development office, expressed readiness to work with PAA and NIAS by supplying research documents used by IITA in improving its yield per hectare for soybean production and maize.

She expressed confidence that with the professionalism and reputation of PAA in the conduct of agricultural training, farmers would soon have the ability to independently produce maize and soybean for their livestock feed and ameliorate the shortage of this critical produce in Nigeria.

Recall that PAA and IITA recently signed a collaborative agreement for the private sector and farmer capacity building.

The MoU allows the two institutions to exchange information in areas of human capacity development on the most impactful practices (MIP) on IITA’s core mandate crops that will impact private sector stakeholders in the agricultural value chain and farmers in Nigeria thereby bringing about higher produce, farmer profitability and ultimately food security.

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