The Federal Government has been urged to build farm settlements to provide infrastructure for concrete or tarpaulin ponds, and assist feed millers who are groaning under high cost of inputs.
General Manager, Marketing and Business Development of Grand Cereals Limited (GCL), Mr. Bukola Adelabu said this during the UAC Farmers’ Workshop in Ikorodu, Epe and Alimosho, Lagos, tagged: Importance of Nutrition on Profitability in Fish and Poultry Farming. He said the interactive nature of the workshops, have always been part of the company’s programmes for over 20 years, describing it as a veritable avenue that bridges the knowledge gap between the farmers and the seasoned resource persons.
On his part, the National Sales Manager, Animal feeds, Mr. Pius Chomo, said something urgent should be done to reduce the importation of fish. “Insecurity should be tackled so that farmers can operate in a peaceful atmosphere. Government should support us through the CBN to bring down prices at the farm gates.
According to the CEO of Rehoboth Farm Consult, Mr. Ajobiewe Samuel Bamidele, both the Federal and State governments should assist farmers with startup capital, which he identified as a major challenge. “Governments should create farm estates and lease them out to farmers to enable them put much of their money into production. Most of them are still doing less than 50 per cent of their expected capacity.”
In his view, a consultant to GCL on Vital Feeds, Mr. Mulero Muibi, said government should provide the enabling environment through loans, good access roads and stable electric power supply, noting that such would reduce the challenges of farmers. Another farmer, Mrs. Ilori Tunrayo of Gberigbe Piggery Company expressed concern on the high cost of input. She wants GCL to extend the workshop to those involved in the piggery sub sector.
The participants unanimously appealed that government should partner the private sector, because it is both result and profit –oriented. “For instance, Delta State failed to improve on fish farming until PIND Foundation and Vital Feeds came into a profitable partnership with it. That was between 2011 and 2012. A similar initiative between Akwa- Ibom government, GCL and Fatorrial Soluzione company is “a multi-billion dollar industry that has taken a lot of people out of the poverty bracket.”
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN