As parts of efforts to cushion the effects of subsidy removal by the federal government, the Ondo state government has trained over 300 livestock farmers on alternative feed sources and feed ingredients for profit maximization.
Speaking at the workshop, the Chairman of the state Palliative and Strategy Implementation Committee and commissioner for finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa said the training was to cut the cost of feed challenge being faced by farmers and to encourage them in the purchase of livestock.
Mr Akinterinwa who was represented by the special assistant on Agric and Agric business, Pastor Akin Olotu said the training was also organized to empower livestock farmers on how to maximize their profit by formulating feed themselves and to source for alternative feed for livestock.
Akinterinwa said, “Because of the removal of fuel subsidy, we discovered that price of livestock has gone up tremendously because after processing, farmers need to transport maize from the farm to the feed mill and from there they will run it with generators and with this development, farmers are unable to buy and when they are unable to buy, cost of production has escalated and they can not increase the price of what they are selling in a way that they will make profit because nobody will buy it from them.
“Presently, the purchasing power is at the lowest ebb in the country. We look at it and decided that instead of farmers folding up, let us look at a way out and that’s why we put up this training programme, looking at alternative means of feed formulation.
“It is an established facts that because of activities of bandits here and there, and other factors that has to do with security, maize cultivation in the country has gone down drastically and maize has come under threat, so we thought it is better to bring our farmers together, look at other means of livestock feed.
“For instance, you can substitute cassava for maize on feed and there several sources too. All this put together, farmers will be able to benefit.”
Akinterinwa said the first phase of the feed palliatives has been distributed and the farmers should be expecting the second and third phase, saying that farmers should accept whatever is given to them because it is just palliative to relieve the hard condition occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal.
According to the him, government is also looking into transportation issue where it has purchased some tricycles for distribution for easy transportation of Agricultural goods to the urban center.
While calling on the people to invest in Agricultural production, particularising livestock production, Akinterinwa observed massive investment in hotel business and event centers which he said are not as better as going into cow production.
In their goodwill messages, the heads and chairman of livestock commodity associations like poultry, goat and sheep, fishery, pigs and others applauded and appreciated government for the initiative to improve their economic situation and making them remain in business.
The chairman poultry association of Nigeria, southwest zone, Revd Gideon Oluleye, stated the enthusiasm of the participants showed their seriousness to drive production of feed in the state.
He expressed that the training was a robost one which is beneficial to farmers unlike what they experienced in other state.
“The impact of the programme is exceptional because cost of feed production is beyond the reach of the people.
Describing it as a radical departure, Oluleye applauded government for the tricycle to be distributed is a special one to assist farmers.
The state chairman, Ondo state Agricultural commodity association (OSACA), Mr Gbenga Obawaye represented by Mr Ademola Akinbobade said the association is doing its best to uniting the farmers to work as a team and urged participants to replicate what they learnt to others.
Others who spoke included the Co-ordinator of Small scale women farmers organization in Nigeria, (SWOFON), Mrs Oyediji Grace, Chairmen, Association of fisheries and Aquaculture of Nigeria, Ven. Joseph Ilesanmi among many others.