James Emejo and Sonia Mayomi in Abuja
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Muhammed Abubakar, yesterday said the federal government is currently working to provide incentives to feed millers and agribusiness companies as well as support various research institutes in developing alternative feed ingredients for production of animal feeds.
The minister who lamented that animal feed accounted for over 70 per cent of the cost of animal production, thereby making it the most important consideration in a livestock business, said the government was determined to check the high cost of feeds in the country.
Speaking at the opening of the maiden National Animal Feed Summit with the theme :”Developing a Roadmap for Animal Feed Security in Nigeria” in Abuja, he said if properly harnessed, the feed sector has the potential to engage over 20 million Nigerians, adding that the industry is yet to reach 25 per cent of its market size.
Abubakar said the sector currently engages over five million Nigerians directly or indirectly as technical or skilled personnel, distributors, fabricators of tools and machinery, input suppliers among others.
The sector, he said, generates massive employment across various value chains and strengthens the national social safety net with copious contributions to food security, household income and poverty reduction.