As part of efforts towards achieving a sustainable supply of feeds for animals in the country, the Nigerian government and other partners including the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), its sister organisation, PREMIUM TIMES, and a private consulting establishment- Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, are set to hold a summit on animal feed.
The forum, which is tagged: “National Animal Feed Summit,” is the second edition to be convened by the partners, with the Nigerian government represented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).
Themed: “Harnessing Alternative Feed Resources for Sustainable Animal Feed Supply,” the summit is scheduled to hold between 11 and 12 April in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.
According to the organisers, the summit is the convergence of key stakeholders from the private and public sectors, feed millers (toll, commercial and on-farm) and academia, to chart the way forward for the feed sector in Nigeria with a primary focus on feed value chain development, National Animal Feed policy document, National Strategic Feed Reserve and National Alternative Feed Ingredient Development.
The summit, they said, will feature robust conversations on ways to enhance understanding among policymakers and the general public on the importance of the National Animal Feed Policy, value chain development, National Strategic Feed Reserve and National Alternative Feed Ingredients.
During the event, CJID and PREMIUM TIMES are expected to contribute to the discourse by engaging experts on the role of media in the development of the agricultural sector through a panel discussion tagged; “The Impact of Insecurity, Climate Change, Post-Harvest on Food Security in Nigeria, and The Role of the Media in the Development of the Agricultural Sector”.
The panels are expected to feature agricultural experts across the value chain including farmers, processors, climate change experts, and media experts.
Speaking on his organisation’s involvement, CJID’s Director of Programmes, Akintunde Babatunde, said the centre has been leading storytelling and research endeavours to spotlight a lot of issues threatening food security in Nigeria and that after years of rigorous reporting, “now is the time to convene stakeholders in the sector to walk the talk.”
Mr Babatunde said with the realities of climate change, insecurity, continued conflict, inflation and rising food prices, Nigeria is at risk of food scarcity.
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Quoting data from UNICEF, Mr Babatunde said nearly 25 million Nigerians are projected to be at risk of facing hunger between June and August 2023.
He added: “Summit like this where state and non-state actors are working together will hopefully lead to a consensus where resources will be mobilised to save lives, and policies will be discussed to prevent a potentially catastrophic food insecurity reality.”
Another partner speaks
Also speaking, Fisayo Kayode, senior manager, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, noted that strategic collaborations like this are part of the keys to addressing what he described as the urgent challenges in feed and food security in the country.
She said: “Key stakeholders across Nigeria understand the urgency in the need to address the challenges faced in the animal feed industry which directly affects food security. This could be fast-tracked through strategic collaboration, implementation of sustainable initiatives, and public-private sector investment. This year, all the organisers of the summit intend to deep dive into alternative feed options and how they can be used to tackle food loss, animal feed shortage, and food insecurity.”
Both organisations believe the collaboration with FMARD on the summit will contribute to the important discourse about key issues and challenges facing the animal feed sector, and the agricultural sector in general.
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