NIGERIA – Nigeria’s poultry industry faces a significant challenge as the nation’s feed production experiences a sharp decline, plunging from approximately 4.5 million metric tonnes to 3.8 metric tonnes, the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) has reported.

The past two years alone have seen a loss of around 0.7 million metric tonnes due to the exorbitant costs of key ingredients like maize for feed production.

Mr. Olufemi Atunbi, Head of the Inspectorate and Compliance Department for feed production at NIAS, highlighted these alarming statistics during a one-day workshop held in Umuahia, Abia State.

The workshop, jointly organized by NIAS and Promex Multi-Services Nigeria Ltd., focused on developing risk-based inspection protocols across various livestock value chains.

Atunbi stressed the urgent need for cultivating Feed Grade Maize, similar to practices in America, to address the dwindling production levels.

Despite the challenges, he commended Nigeria’s poultry industry as one of the most organized and economically viable sectors, boasting an impressive yearly income of US$4 billion and contributing significantly to the nation’s agricultural GDP.

A key highlight of the workshop was the introduction of a regulatory instrument for poultry called ‘Farmsured Technology.’

“This innovative technology aims to combat challenges such as the adulteration of day-old chicks and enhance poultry quality and output nationwide,” Atunbi said.

He emphasized the importance of awareness creation and sensitization among farmers, students, researchers, and the business community regarding the identification and sourcing of genuine day-old chicks.

Abia State Commissioner for Agriculture, Professor Monica Ironkwe, lauded NIAS for its proactive efforts in organizing the workshop and acknowledged the neglect that animal production has faced.

She emphasized the crucial role of experts in revitalizing the industry and reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to rejuvenating animal science production. Ironkwe highlighted the dependency of Nigerians on farmers and advocated for collective efforts to promote agriculture at all levels.

Addressing the declining population of poultry farmers in the country, Atunbi attributed this trend to the myriad challenges faced by producers, particularly the escalating costs of production and inputs, notably the high cost of feed.

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