By Innocent Orok
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says in responding to the Federal Government’s efforts to boost food security is developing standards for the animal and livestock feeds value chain in the country.
The Standards were also developed to counter the adverse effects of Covid19 pandemic on key sectors such as agriculture through its increased implementation of Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).
Speaking at the Work Group meeting hosted virtually in Lagos, the Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma said the Working Group meeting on the development of six Standards would boost Agribusiness in the country.
The virtual meeting was hosted by SON as part of an ongoing Livestock Micro Reforms in Agribusiness (L-MIRA) World bank project on Cattle Feed Value Chain in collaboration with SON.
Aboloma, who was represented by
Deputy Director/Head Food Group, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Omolara Okunlola explained that Standards development was achieved through a consensus of relevant parties and academics coming together to elaborate standards for various sectors of the economy. Aboloma said the efforts was focused on the development of standards in the livestock sector over the years.
According to him, the Standards considered by the Work Group were borne out of an urgent demand and relevance of the Standards to the animal/ livestock feeds value chain with the work group specifically working on the following vital areas to boost agribusiness in the country.
Elaboration of the Standards for Salt Mineral Lick which prescribes the specification for common salt as mineral licks for animal consumption by ensuring proper proportioning, as well as improving the adequate amount of minerals for effective productivity in animals.
The SON boss further said other requirements specified was that of Blood Meal as an ingredient in Fish Meal production to ensure adequacy in meeting the protein requirements in fish farming. He said such feats would assist the feed manufacturers in compounding balance, protein ration and guide fish farmers in the selection of appropriate feed and feed ingredients.
The elaboration of the Standard for Small Ruminant Feed was also established. According to him, it will also guide feed manufacturers in compounding balanced ratios for Small Ruminant’s such as goats and sheep feeds.
” It will enhance meat and dairy in small ruminant production thereby contributing to the country’s gross domestic product in Agribusiness..
” While the elaboration of Standard for Small Ruminant Feed Premix was found necessary as small ruminants (sheep and goats) are increasingly becoming major sources of animal protein recently contributing over 30% of total meat supply in the country.
“The standard is therefore to guide Premix manufacturers in compounding premixes for Small ruminant’s feed and also Feed millers’/ livestock farmers in deciding the kind of Premixes that suits a small ruminant’s requirement in enhancing sheep and goat production,”he said
The Work Group also elaborated the Standards for Wheat Bran as a livestock feed because of its high demand due and nutritional value. He added that its also cheap source of protein and high fibre content which enhances digestion process in animal and birds.
He said the elaboration of the Standard is to serve as a guide for manufacturers of the product, to ensure quality retention.
The Standards for conserved Forage Feed for ruminants was established to assist and guide the feed producers in production and processing of forages for ruminants and to enhance the production of conserved forages.
He said forages are the most important feed resource for ruminants worldwide, as well as Wild forages which need to be properly processed and stored inline with best practices.
“We know most crops are seasonal and needs to be cut, dried and conserved as pasture since there is large variability in the quality of forages so measurement and prediction of feeding value and nutritive value are essential for high levels of production.
The meeting which was held under the chairmanship of Prof. Onifade S. Olufemi (Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta and Society for Grassland Research Development in Nigeria) had other participants such as, Dr. Chioma Tony-Dike of L-MIRA (World Bank), Dr. D. G Oyedeji, (L-MIRA- World bank), Jude Mordi (NIFST), Nathan Eke (Premier Feeds Ltd), Sofade Olusola (Animal Care Services), Wole Adeleke (Livestock Feed Plc) and Essein Effiong all representing various interests and organisations.
Dr. Mrs Okunola Deputy Director and Head Food Group lead the SON team, providing participation and secretariat made up of Mr. A. Shittu, Mrs. A. Olaleye, Mr. Kinsman Okemba, Mr. Bashir Karta, Mr. G. Oludi, Mr. Ismail Yero, Mr. Jibril Muhammed, Dr. Zainab Umar, Miss Unoma Uraia, and Amarma Lawan all of Standards Organisation of Nigeria respectively.