The proceedings on colloquium on smallholder poultry feed took place in Abuja, Nigeria on May 30th, 2017 and it witness large turnout of academia, researchers and stakeholders in Nigerian poultry industry across the nation.
The meeting started at 8:30 am with a presentation by the African Chicken Genetic Gains Nigeria (ACGG-NG) National Project Coordinator, Dr. Deji Bamidele.
The main objectives of the ocassion were to discuss the following:
- Feed challenges in smallholder poultry
- Methodologies for identification of supplementary feed resources for smallholder poultry
- Use of feed formulation apps for smallholder poultry.
Presentations were made as follows from seasoned resource persons:
- Prof. Adive Udedibe made a presentation on Locally Available Feed Resources in Nigeria: he highlighted some locally available feed resources, sharing successes recorded when these resources were incorporated into poultry nutrition. Resources discussed included: cassava (using different processing methods), jack bean, pigeon pea, velvet beans, leaf meals, poultry waste, poultry offal meal and sorghum.
- Prof. Job Atteh presented Feed Formulation and Feed Mixing: he gave insights on commercial, and on-farm feed formulation, and production. Areas covered in the presentation included: feed milling, nutrient requirements, ingredients classifications, feed formulation essentials and methods of formulating feeds, cost-saving tips, handling of finished feeds and evaluation of feeds.
- Other Presentations were made on advances in software development for feed formulation, and on mathematical models used in feed formulation, and how these can be deployed in addressing issues in smallholder poultry nutrition by Dr. Matthew Afolayan and Mr. Gbemi Oyedele, respectively.
The presentations were followed by questions and discussions which led to the following resolutions:
- Creating feed library & feed mixing;
- Establishing a variable list for feed application development and developing the smallholder poultry feed systems;
- A centralised, cloud-based database/library of locally available feed ingredients in Nigeria should be created. While the database will be open (accessible to all), there will be restricted access for modifying the contents;
- The job of the screening committee would be to standardise and re-analyse feed ingredients, detailing methods and other variables used in defining or processing the ingredients;
- In addition to the nutritional contents of the ingredients, additional information that would be provided for the ingredients will include: quantities available, localities of availability and seasonality;
- All the attendees at the national colloquium were appointed as focal persons for their respective institutions, to gather information on researches already conducted on available feed resources for smallholder poultry production;
- Put out a national call to invite submissions of research output for upload onto the online feed library repository;
- Create platforms or utilise available platforms to showcase the commercial potentials of the available feed resources to investors;
- Persons or organisations that are interested in toll milling for farmers using cheaper, available feed ingredients should be encouraged to do so;
- The Federal Department of Animal Husbandry Services’ Division of Animal Feed and Feed Security should develop policies that would serve smallholders, researchers, commercial farmers and other stakeholders towards addressing the challenges of smallholder poultry feed security;
- Smallholder Poultry Feed Formulation App should be user friendly, simple and the app should focus on the smallholder individuals rather than small to medium scale toll millers or feed producing franchises;
- Get standardised volumetric weight of the different feed ingredients so that the volume of the container (bowl, can, etc.) can be used to estimate the weight of the ingredients.
In conclusion, feed milling is identified as a profitable business if the individual is versatile in the understanding of animals, the nature of feed ingredients, their substitution potentials as well as ability to formulate feed. Feed millers as well as poultry farmers must know that there is lots of information on how to add value to ingredients with a view to increase profit.