Managing Director of AgroVet Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Femi Akinwale, shares his experiences with what farmers can do to break even, stay in business and expand operations. FEMI IBIROGBA presents excerpts.
How did the crisis of farmers / shepherds affect the cost of producing animal feed?
The problem affects everyone in Nigeria, and the point around it is that we could not develop an effective way to grow animals without moving them from one place to another.
In other parts of the world, animals are not grown openly. Moving is not useful either for people or animals.
How did the crisis affect the production of food and animal feed?
Farmers have been moved and can not grow crops.
Many agricultural lands close operations in the affected areas due to fear of being attacked.
This affected the production of raw materials used in poultry and fish feeds.
Such materials include corn. The price of corn has increased, and this affects the cost of feeding poultry and fish. This reduces the profit of farmers.
Eggs were always pop-up. As an animal scientist and businessman, do you think this is the way forward?
By tracking the problems, I learn that one of the main problems is marketing of poultry products.
Farmers do not plan to sell their products.
Everyone wants to produce, but almost no one has a marketing plan.
From time to time, you see a poultry farm that has 50,000 birds without a marketing plan.
Such a farmer will have problems selling eggs. If this is the case, then producers will become victims of greedy intermediaries.
In most cases we also have artificial glitches. These mediators come together, abstain from buying eggs for several days or weeks and tactically force farmers to sell at a loss.
What do you think about the production of egg powder?
Converting EGG into powder is a very good idea, because eggs can be stored in another form and sold at a good cost without fear of deterioration.
However, we must critically look at the requirements for the production of egg powder.
Eggs intended for powder should be free of residues of antibiotics. Many farmers can not fulfill this requirement.
However, in cooperation with the Government and the Association of Poultry Farmers of Nigeria (PAN), farmers can get education to meet.
Although all farmers may not meet this condition, those who meet them are a plus for the sector and can help in solving the problem of overfatigue of eggs.
Do you think that machines for egg powder should be lightened for PAN for this purpose?
Yes. This is a good idea. You know that commercial equipment for egg powder can be too capital intensive for individual farmers or PAN, like standard rice mills.
Therefore, the government should cooperate with the PAN and other private investors to study this.
You have always advocated integrated farming. What do you mean?
This is a situation where a farmer participates in related but different types of agricultural activities to reduce costs, avoid losses and improve profitability.
If you are a poultry breeding broiler, you can also have a fish farm.
The intestine from the treated bird can be boiled and used to supplement the protein requirements in the fish.
This reduces the cost of feeding the fish. It can also be given to pigs.
Manure compost from the broiler farm can be used to produce crops such as corn, and maize is used in feed composition for birds.
Another good example is the business incubator. Waste is produced from the activities of the hatchery.
Such wastes are barren eggs, deadly outcomes and a shell.
All of them can be used in feeds for pigs and fish. Agriculture should be treated in this way; where your waste is converted into economic use.
In your views, what can the government do to help farmers?
We call on the government to assist farmers in Nigeria in many ways.
We advocate the revival of extension services to obtain research products and technology from universities and agricultural colleges to farmers.
This will force farmers to do their business with precision and success.
What does your company put on the table for farmers in animal husbandry?
We teach farmers what to do, how to do it and rightly do it.
This will increase their agricultural enterprises and make them profitable and, therefore, sustainable.