NIFAAS Call for Responsive Post-COVID Management to Boost Livestock Production - LivestockTrend


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Friday 28 August 2020

NIFAAS Call for Responsive Post-COVID Management to Boost Livestock Production

Amidst COVID-19 pandemic challenges, a group of agricultural experts known as The Nigerian Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (NIFAAS), has called for boosting of the livestock sub-sector.


The call was made in a statement made available to journalists as signed by Mr. Ismail Olawale of the E-extension Department NAERLS, ABU Zaria in Lagos, following a virtual meeting it held recently.


Few measures activated and presented by the government to curtail the spread of the pandemic and reduce casualties and deaths had tremendously affected livestock production and products distribution in the country.


Prof. Akin Adesehinwa of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University in the virtual meeting, quoted as saying the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively impacted the agricultural sector.


He added that actions taken in many countries including Nigeria such as lock down, travel restrictions and border controls, had resulted in unintended or negative consequences on the livestock sub-sector of agriculture.


“These including but not limited to difficulty in moving live animals and animal products like milk, meat and eggs to markets,’’ he said.


Adesehinwa said that the restriction on movement had led to the decrease in the processing capacity for animal products.


He furthered that it also led to the loss of sales due to production glut, sluggish and abnormal market activity and the reduction in the capacity of experts to prevent and control animal diseases across the country.


According to Adesehinwa, there has been increase in the cases of trans-boundary animal diseases such as African swine fever, foot and mouth disease and other infectious animal diseases.


He said that the prevention and control of the disease had been severely compromised by the lock down.


Also at the meeting, Mr. Jayaram Dinginkar, the Director of Sunseed Nigeria Ltd., Zaria observed that animal feed and the inputs to produce them had also been affected by the lock down.


Dinginkar said that the prices of chicken feed had increased, while the market for chicken had dropped, while the demand for broiler feed by poultry farmers had reduced significantly.


On his part, Dr. Tunji Iyiola-Tunji, of the National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services, (NAERLS ), Ahmadu Bello University, said the group came together for some professional discussions.


He said that the discussion was aimed at coming up with feasible ways to help the Nigerian livestock sub-sector remain productive during and after the pandemic.


The don tasked livestock value chain actors – livestock farmers, slaughterhouse workers and animal product processors, traders, animal husbandry and health professionals to ensure inputs and livestock products were consistently available by sharing accurate information.


He said the group tasked policy makers and other relevant stakeholders such as the extension and advisory service workers to also ensure inputs and livestock products were consistently available by sharing accurate information.


“These pieces of information on exemption should be shared with the relevant stakeholders using various channels such as mass media, interest groups or associations,’’ he said.


The group advised the government to review and adapt some of the existing bio-safety and bio-security measures to the COVID-19 situation as a checklist to farms, livestock product processing facilities, live animal markets and slaughter houses and related value chains.

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