Sequel to the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently, between Premier Agribusiness Academy (PAA) and Nigeria Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) towards capacity development of livestock farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain, Professor Eustace Ayemere Iyayi, registrar/CEO, NIAS has expressed optimism that the collaboration will soon begin to yield positive results.
Speaking during an interactive session with journalists, Prof. Iyayi said the purpose of the MoU is to create a convergence between what NIAS does as a government agency purposely for the regulation of the animal husbandry industry which includes training and development of stakeholders in the livestock value chain.
According to him, while NIAS has the repository of the expert body, it is not oblivious of the need for a recognized, professional training institute like PAA to help drive its livestock development agenda, consequent to the market development knowledge and skills acquired by the academy over the years.
In his words: “We expect that with our collaboration with PAA, there will be an upliftment in the skill acquisition of all those that are connected with livestock production. We are very hopeful that the knowledge that will be acquired through the training that will take place, will help sharpen our skills and upscale livestock businesses across the value chain, resulting in higher productivity and profitability of livestock businesses.”
“Our choice of PAA as facilitators is as a result of the academy’s antecedents of excellence and participant testaments from their past training programmes as well as their collaborations with world class institutes all over the world.”
Recall that Iyayi during a collaborative meeting between NIAS, IITA and PAA which held recently at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Oyo state, revealed that the unavailability of quality and affordable livestock feed to farmers can be attributed to the shortfall in local production of maize and soybean in the country.
According to him, it became imperative for NIAS to pay attention to livestock feed production in order to avoid livestock starvation, unprofitability and indebtedness of farmers especially those still struggling to remain in business while adding that, the solution is farmer participation.
He further explained that if farmers can be properly trained on global most impactful practices (MIP) in feed production, individual farmers will be able to independently make quality feeds needed for their livestock consumption.