• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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FG, AU partner to revamp feed, fodder sector to address farmer, herder clashes

Why food insecurity persist in Nigeria – professor
In a bid to address the persistent farmer-herder clashes in Nigeria, the Federal Government and the African Union, AU member states have taken urgent actions to address livestock feed shortages and avert future feed-related disasters.
This was the outcome of the Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems (RAFFS) project meeting held in Abuja recently a statement signed by Eremah Anthonia, Chief Information Officer for  Director of Information revealed.
Speaking during the event, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security,  reiterated the importance of the subject of the gathering to Nigeria and declared the Federal Government’s commitment to support the outcome of the meeting.
He pointed out that the meeting was something that Nigeria ought to have done 20 years back, but it is not too late to begin.
“I assure you of my total support, and I look forward to the outcome of the important mission, I want to guarantee you that as we advance, we are going to step up our action and ensure that this platform becomes the talk-about platform in Africa and beyond.
“This is a mission coming from the African Union Inter Africa Bureau of Animal Resources to help us achieve that goal, at the end of the day, we expect to have a very vibrant, productive and profitable feed and fodder industry”, the honourable Minister said.
In his speech, Huyam Salih the director of AU-IBAR, who was represented by Sarah Ossiya, the Project Lead, RAFFS, AU-IBAR, congratulated Nigeria, for being the fourth AU Member State, to take the important step of establishing its National Feed and Fodder Multi-Stakeholder Platform in line with the decisions of African Heads of State and Government.
“This pivotal MSP will bring together all actors who are critical to shaping a structured and more functional feed and fodder sector that will support a more productive, sustainable and resilient livestock/animal resources sector, impact on increased production of more affordable livestock sourced foods, and capacity for trade harnessing regional and continental opportunities, job creation especially for women and youth, and addressing conflict in between herders and crop farmers”.
“As we reflect on setting up the Nigeria MSP, I invite us to consider a few critical questions:
What is the current structure of Nigeria’s feed and fodder sub-sector versus Nigeria’s livestock or animal resources sector?
What should be the drivers of growth and investment in a vibrant feed and fodder sub-sector? Which development objectives should inform investment in this sub-sector?” among other questions.
The Director, informed that each of the participants at the Meeting was selected for their role, expertise and vast experience and understanding of Nigeria’s feed and fodder sub-sector, and the linkages the country has to the region.
He added that AU-IBAR will draw on the findings of the studies that were conducted to provide insights. However, the combined inputs and contributions to the different actors here today will shape a useful and functional MSP that will address the issues of feed and fodder in Nigeria. I call on all of us to provide insights and innovation in this process.
Earlier, in her opening remarks, Winnie Lai-Solarin, Director of Animal Husbandry Services, stated that the Animal Feed System in Nigeria, including the development of the feed and fodder document was awaiting validation and pointed out that the Feed and Fodder Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) in Nigeria was coming at this time, to help with the actualization of the directive.
She revealed that the RAFFS project resides in AU-IBAR, so activities are drawn at the country level.
Mrs Lai Solarin urged the participants to play an active role throughout the project to actualise the feed and fodder objectives.
An interaction with the Feed and Fodder Business Development Expert, David Maina revealed that the objective was to bring in the industry players to form the stakeholders’ platform, because of the issues that had been identified as shared problems across the actors that have suffered great negative impact due to COVID-19, Drought and Conflict.
According to him, “the idea is to come up with the multi stakeholder platform that will continue to address the issues until we have a solution.”
Maina noted that to support the Ministry, four areas had been identified to address the issues including; Data, Ecosystem, Gender Inclusion, and policy (to review and reform policies).
In attendance were representatives from Sustainable Agrotech Nig. Ltd, CDI, Seed Council, Sabore Farms, Sahel Consulting, Sterling Bank, and ILRI amongst others.
The highlight of the event was the formation of the MSP.