Thursday, November 24

FG to begin processing cassava leaves as livestock feed to curb farmers-herdsmen clashes

The Federal Government has commenced strategies to develop cassava leaves value chain into livestock feeds to curb farmers-herdsmen clashes in the country. Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said this at a seminar on `Unlocking the Potentials of Cassava Leaves as Livestock feed in Nigeria’ in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the seminar, organised by the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), was a wake-up call for stakeholders to deliberate on harnessing the potentials of cassava leaves. Represented by Dr Egejuru Eze, Director, Animal Production and Husbandry Services in the ministry, Ogbeh said that the livestock industry had been bedevilled by stagnant practices hence, the clashes.

The minister said that livestock had the potential for increased productivity, including milk yield and body weight, when fed with cassava leaves. According to him, cassava leaves has been found to be a good source of crude protein when made into silage.

Ogbeh said that the cassava leaves value chain would also create jobs for youths and enable farmers make more money from the sale of the leaves.

“Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world with a production figure of 50 million metric tonnes. “Cassava is a major food crop in Nigeria. “It is strategically valued for its role in food security, poverty alleviation and a source of raw materials for agro-allied industries in Nigeria with huge potential for export market. “It provides livelihood for over 30 million farmers,’’ the minister said.

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