Lagos- High production cost has been identified as the main reason why the Nigeria’s animal feed sector remain underdeveloped.
Abisola Olusanya, Acting Commissioner for Agriculture in Lagos state dropped the hint at the weekend during the distribution of maize and sorghum to feed millers, farm settlements and other stakeholders in the livestock industry to cushion the effect of the covid-19 pandemic, boost agricultural production in the State and avert food scarcity in coming years.
She said that the injection of these ingredients into the feed mill industry would have a multiplier effects on the input and output of feed millers and consequently on food production.
Olusanya explained that maize being the major source of energy in the feed mill industry as well as accounting for between 60 to 70 percent of the total ingredients used in feed formation and production, usually determines the final cost of the finished feed such that any fluctuation in the cost of maize in the market also has direct effects on the finished feed and seems to be the life line of the feed mill industry.
According to her, the distribution of these ingredients to feed millers and farm settlements in the State would lead to a significant reduction in the production costs, production of quality feeds and consequently availability of quality food to Lagosians.
“Nigeria’s animal feed sector remains underdeveloped, largely due to high production costs. 70 percent of the operational costs of most poultry, aquaculture and other livestock operations go to feed.”
Speaking further Olusanya stated that during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Federal Government presented the Lagos State Government with consignments of maize and sorghum; which made the State Government approved the distribution of 3,300 Tonnes of Maize and 900 Tonnes of Sorghum to Feed Millers, Farm Estates and Settlements and other stakeholders in the animal feed industry across the State.
According to her, these feed millers include commercial feed millers, toll millers, ingredient sellers and distributors of finished feed and other stakeholders and investors in the industry such as the small holder private livestock farmers like the Sheep and Goat Farmers, and the Lagos Chapter of Poultry Association of Nigeria among others.
She gave the list of Farm Settlements and Estates that have benefited from the scheme to include the Ikorodu Farm Settlement, Odogunyan; Ajara Farm Settlement, Badagry; Araga Farm Settlement, Epe; Imota Farm Settlement, Ikorodu; Agbowa GFS/NDE Estate, Epe; Igboye Farm Settlement, Epe; Poultry Estates at Erikorodo, Ikorodu and Ayedoto in Ojo; Piggery Estates at Gberigbe, Ikorodu and Oke-Aro; Arable Crop Estate, Agbowa, Epe; Vegetable Estate, Iyafin, Badagry; and Fish Farm Estates at Odogunyan, Ikorodu; and Ketu Ereyun in Epe.
Olusanya noted that the distribution would help the feed millers save time and money spent on searching for quality maize, shorten production time as well as reduce wastage of ingredients during production.
“Apart from ensuring that quality and affordable feed is produced, this distribution will also help our feed millers and other key actors in the animal feed industry to produce feed according to the recommended standard,” she said.