Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development yesterday began the training of key stakeholders in the poultry industry to enhance disease prevention, detection and control.
The Director, Department of Animal Production and Husbandry Services, Dr. Ademola Raji, made the disclosure at a workshop entitled, “Behaviour Change in Biosecurity in Poultry Production”, organised for the stakeholders at New Nyanyan in Nasarawa State.
According to Raji, the step became necessary as attention was being focused on animal health globally to prevent diseases.
Represented by a Deputy Director in the ministry, Dr. John Taiwo, he affirmed that proper knowledge and application of bio-security will help to curb the ugly situation.
“The objective of the workshop is to develop an action plan in all aspects of disease detection, prevention and control.
“It is also to develop appropriate bio-security for poultry farms and live birds market in rural and urban areas.
“It will build capacity in technical, communication skills and advise poultry growers, sellers and live birds marketing administrators on developing a bio-safety plan,’’ he said.
Raji listed co-organisers of the workshop as Federal Department of Agricultural Extension Services, the Nigerian Institute for Animal Science, NIAS and Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN.
Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop, the Registrar of the NAIS, Dr. Oyedele Oyedeji, said the workshop would address many challenges facing the poultry sub-sector.
According to him, the forum will have great impact on the standards used in crop and animal production, adding “products are as good as the process used in producing them’’.
He said the participating stakeholders were required to retrain farmers and other actors along the poultry value chain in their various localities.
The registrar urged the department to convene a meeting of all stakeholders to review the livestock policy for Nigeria.
Oyedeji said it would give a proper direction to animal breeding and genetics, animal nutrition marketing, operating procedures and animal welfare which would be disseminated to states through the extension services.
He said that this would enable the country meet all international benchmarks in animal feed, product and human food safety.
Also, the Zonal Secretary, North Central, PAN, Mr. Dennis Eze, said that the training was timely as many poultry farmers had recorded huge losses in the recent outbreak of Avian Influenza otherwise called Bird Flu.
He identified diseases as the major challenge facing the sector and urged the department to also sensitise farmers in the area of feed production.

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