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