Stakeholders explore ways to use pasture production for commercial purposes

By Daniel Dada

Pasture development stakeholders gathered in Abuja and brainstormed on production, challenges affecting the sector and how pasture production for commercial and export purposes could be achieved in the country.

Olonimoyo Franklin, Latifah A. Lawal, Tijani Goni Muhammad, Ibrahim U. Wali, Aliyu M. Shettima and Sabo A. Abubakar, who led the discussion on the issues, said that most projects were not properly executed in some states in lack of professional involvement in the pasture value chain has been a major challenge.

Steps to overcome the challenges

The group, in its submission, recognizes the need to provide a complete production chain from seed supply to seed production, processing and marketing, as this will convince farmers to adopt pasture production, and if the monetary value of pasture exceeds that of food crops, farmers will generally adopt pasture production.

They stated that there should be more emphasis on the value chain and marketing component of the pasture feed sustainability effort so that the farmer/pastoralist can easily buy into the program.

The group also advocates the establishment of pasture collection centers and ease of export and the need for improved seeds to increase the productivity potentials of pasture species and intense sensitization of the NLTP program, especially on the production of rangelands and community involvement in their management.

The government should intervene in the production balance of the private sector and encourage public-private partnership (PPP) with pasture producers.

There is a need to improve the pasture seed marketing system and grasses are urgently needed in large quantities for export.

Local content should be encouraged in the production of sustainable pastures, and beyond income from Napiar grass, its cutting is another source of income.

The federal government should strengthen its coordination with the states in the pasture seed multiplication program to improve pasture production

There is also the need for machinery for the production and processing of pasture: supply of hay balers, forage harvesters in small, medium and large machines.

More commitment of pasture actors to enable the exchange of ideas and innovations and need for machinery for the production and processing of pasture: supply of hay balers, forage harvesters in small, medium and large machines.

Capacity building is essential for farmers on pasture production, and there is a need to structure the financial architecture on how farmers can feed their animals and how to repay without necessarily using cash.

Monitoring and evaluation of grazing projects should be strengthened to include staff with relevant field experience, non-governmental organizations, farmer cooperatives, civil societies and other stakeholders.

They also called on the federal government to improve the level of coordination and collaboration with state and local governments, adding that other technical skills should be part of the requirements for awarding contracts for NLTP as standardization continues. and certification of producers, processors and traders are implemented.

Pasture Development Center Plans

It is important that certified seed is provided to pasture producers and cooperatives, as well as capacity building of commercial pasture producers and smallholders for improved productivity, by raising awareness and encouraging local farmers to view pasture as a viable business and incorporate modular irrigation systems to ensure year-round pasture production

Tractors and implements specific to commercial pasture production are needed, as well as pasture processing and pelleting machinery to support small-scale processors.

They also called on the federal government to encourage pasture production in Fadama areas, as well as involve civil society organizations in advocacy and community mobilization.

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