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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has embarked on livestock value chain training for 35 farmers in Gombe State.
It was gathered that the training commenced on Wednesday in Gombe.
It is organised by the ECOWAS Support Programme for Livestock Marketing in West Africa (ECOWAS-PACBAO 11).
The capacity-building workshop is funded by Swiss Development Cooperation through ECOWAS and Gombe State Government.
The ECOWAS-PACBAO 11 Project Team Lead, Dr Adetunji Jolaosho, said the project was initiated to propagate modern ways of livestock business, from production to marketing.
Jolaosho also said that the objective was to build the farmers’ capacity to fully harness the livestock value chain, provide jobs for their women and youths and improve their income.
This, he said, would be done by educating them on how to upgrade their feedlot, crossbreeding and meat value chains.
In his words, “It is to modernise and upgrade the way livestock industry is operated, to minimise losses for farmers.
“The meat to the market is between 200kg and 250kg.
“This is very low because, in other places, cattle to the market is up to 600kg.
“So, why should ours be different? This is why we are here.
“So we will look at cross-breeding too to boost the size of animals before they are taken to the abattoir for slaughter.
“Also, the hygiene and upgrade of abattoir facilities will be given due attention to ensure that only healthy meat is made available for citizens.”
Jolaosho further said that the farmers would be trained on how to develop hydroponic fodder.
According to him, if properly embraced, the hydroponic fodder will help reduce migration by pastoralists and enhance the availability of livestock feed.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Muhammad Gettado, said that knowledge of the value chain in the livestock industry would help to harness its huge potential.
Gettado, represented by the Director, Administration and Finance in the ministry, Suleiman Musa, said the opening up of the sector would help to generate employment and improve farmers’ income.
He, therefore, advised the participants to take advantage of the workshop to enhance their knowledge.