ECOWAS trains 35 Gombe farmers on livestock value chain
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has launched livestock value chain training for 35 farmers in Gombe State.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the training started on Wednesday in Gombe.
It is organized by the ECOWAS West Africa Cattle Marketing Support Program (ECOWAS-PACBAO 11).
The capacity building workshop is funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation through ECOWAS and the Gombe State Government.
The team leader of the ECOWAS-PACBAO 11 project, Dr. Adetunji Jolaosho, said the project was launched to spread modern farming methods from production to marketing.
Jolaosho also said the aim is to build the capacity of farmers to fully exploit the livestock value chain, provide employment for their women and youths and improve their incomes.
This, he said, would be done by educating them on how to improve their feedlot, crossbreeding and meat value chains.
He said: “It is about modernizing and improving the functioning of the livestock industry, in order to minimize losses for farmers.
“The meat on the market is between 200 kg and 250 kg.
“It is very low because in other places the cattle at the market can reach 600 kg.
“So why should ours be any different?” That’s why we are here.
“So we will also look at cross-breeding to increase the size of the animals before they are taken to the slaughterhouse for slaughter.
“In addition, the hygiene and modernization of slaughterhouse facilities will receive due attention to ensure that only healthy meat is made available to citizens.”
Jolaosho further said farmers would be trained on how to grow hydroponic fodder.
According to him, if properly adopted, hydroponic fodder will help reduce pastoralist migration and improve feed availability for livestock.
Agriculture and Livestock Commissioner Muhammad Gettado said knowing the value chain in the livestock industry would help unlock its huge potential.
Gettado, represented by the ministry’s director of administration and finance, Suleiman Musa, said opening up the sector would help create jobs and improve farmers’ incomes.
He therefore advised participants to take advantage of the workshop to deepen their knowledge.
One of the participants, Abdullahi Sintali, welcomed the initiative.
Sintali said this will help them tap into the huge opportunities in the livestock sub-sector.
NAN reports that participants came from different livestock projects around the state for the four-day training.