NIGERIA – The Nigerian Government, in collaboration with the African Union-Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources, has launched the Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems (RAFFS) Project, aimed at ensuring livestock producers can access high-quality animal feed at competitive prices.

This was the outcome of the project meeting held in Abuja, a statement from the Ministry of State for Agriculture and Food Security, signed by Eremah Anthonia, Chief Information Officer for Director of Information has revealed.

According to the statement, the multi-stakeholder project is an initiative responding to the Triple C crises – COVID-19, Climate Change shocks, and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict that had severely impacted African feed and fodder systems.

The initiative seeks to assess the impact of these crises and develop evidence-based, short-term solutions to enhance resilience in the livestock sector.

Speaking during the event, Aliyu Abdullahi, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security described the launch of the multi-stakeholder platform as a key step towards fulfilling the government’s pledge to sustainable food production and national food security.

Abdullahi emphasized that the platform would not only streamline access to animal feed for producers but also establish an integrated self-sufficiency system, fostering fair competition among suppliers.

He noted that supporting the livestock industry was a crucial factor towards increasing self-sufficiency in animal products, adding that its implementation would ensure proper nutrition, promote sustainable practices, and empower livestock producers as an integral component of the national food security system.

Highlighting the scale of current challenges, Tunde Amole, the Country Representative of the International Livestock Research Institute noted that Nigeria imports millions of tonnes of animal feed and raw materials annually, primarily for cattle, poultry, and pig farming.

To address this, Tunde advocated for increased local sourcing of raw materials for animal feed production, which would alleviate supply issues and support sustainable industry growth. He also called for the expansion of farmed land dedicated to intensive grass and animal feed production.

He also called for the expansion of farmed land for intensive grass and animal feed production.

In recent years, the scarcity of feed and fodder has led to significant livestock losses, diminished livelihoods, and increased costs of essential livestock-derived foods.

Last year the federal government announced plans to unveil a National Animal Feed Policy document to tackle the challenges affecting the livestock industry and enhance food security in Nigeria.

This initiative aimed to address the growing concerns over the rising cost of animal feed, which has been negatively impacting the poultry and livestock sectors.

Through the RAFFS Project, the Federal Government and the African Union aim to enhance the knowledge and analytical ecosystem, identify innovative business models, engage more women in the sector, improve policy engagement, and foster partnerships for coordinated action to tackle these urgent challenges.

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