Abuja, Nigeria 16.10.2023
The African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is set to launch its inception workshop and assessment for the Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems Project (RAFFS) in Nigeria today.
The RAFFS Project seeks to respond to challenges posed by the triple C crises: Covid-19, Climate Change, and the Conflict between Russia and Ukraine. These crises have resulted in substantial livestock losses, particularly in the greater Horn of Africa, affecting livelihoods, incomes, and the affordability of essential livestock-sourced foods.
High production costs, especially in poultry and aquaculture, pose a significant challenge. Ruminants, the majority of Nigeria's livestock, rely on communal grazing and crop residues, but these face issues of scarcity and security.
Nigeria’s National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) 2018-2028 seeks to enhance the feed and fodder system through strategies like sown pasture production. The National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP) 2023-2028 also emphasizes technology and innovation for transformation.
While proven strategies exist, their adoption is limited due to factors like lack of resources, capital, awareness, and limited access to credit. The government aims to overcome these constraints by promoting private sector involvement and the strengthening of feed and fodder cooperatives.
The transformation of Nigeria's feed and fodder sector is vital for food security, economic growth, and the nation's prosperity. The RAFFS Project initiative promises to address the vulnerabilities exposed by the triple C crises and secure a brighter future for the livestock industry and the country as a whole.
Inception Workshop and National Launch: The Inception Workshop in Nigeria will be the second to be held in the RAFFS Project six core AU member states: Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. These events will involve key stakeholders presenting preliminary findings from surveys, launching the project officially, and introducing the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N) to enhance women's participation in the feed and fodder sector.
The country-level assessments are expected to yield insights into the impact of crises on feed and fodder systems, digital capacities, women's inclusion, and policy frameworks. National Assessment teams will be trained on field assessment tasks, data compilation, training on financial inclusion and business formalization will be part of the meetings. Effective participation of AWARFA-N in the RAFFS Project is a key highlight of the week-long event. These meetings will be held with high level stakeholders from the private and Ministers in charge of Livestock will lead the government discussions.
The RAFFS Project focuses on four key objectives: Establishing a knowledge and analytical ecosystem for evidence-based solutions. Supporting business models and partnerships to address short-term feed and fodder shortages. Empowering women in feed and fodder systems and reforming policies and regulations to build a sustainable feed and fodder industry.
The process will present and validate survey findings, train national assessment teams and conduct an in-depth country assessment of the impact of the triple C crises on the feed and fodder sector.
AWARFA-N was launched in July 2018, supported by the AU-IBAR and funded by the European Union. AWARFA-N consists of continental, regional, and national chapters, focusing on empowering women involved in animal resource value chains. The Nigerians chapter will be officially launched today.
Critical issues faced by women in the livestock sector revolve around their constrained access to appropriate, long-term financing solutions tailored to their unique requirements. Women play pivotal roles in our society, serving as the bedrock for resilience through their functions in reproduction, nurturing, caregiving, and productivity. These multifaceted roles significantly contribute to individual, household, and community income, foster economic expansion, ensure food security, and enhance the well-being of children.
AWARFA- N seeks to enhance women's participation and benefits across animal resource value chains, including feed and fodder, women aspire to expand beyond subsistence livestock keeping into commercial ventures at various scales.
AU-IBAR operates as a technical office within the African Union Commission, with a core mission to support African Union member states in harnessing the potential of animals for human well-being and economic development. The organization plays a pivotal role in coordinating and advancing livestock development across the continent.
Note to Editors:
For additional information, please visit AU-IBARs website on RAFFS
For more Project information contact Dr. Sarah Ashanut Ossiya - email@example.com
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