Poor nutrition has been identified as the major limiting factor of pig production in Nigeria. The Managing Director of RIF Agro Nigeria Limited Mr. Xavier Dequippe stated this at an interactive forum between stakeholders in the pig industry in Benue State and French specialists in pig and fish nutrition organised by RIF Agro Nigeria Limited at Royal Choice Inn, Makurdi. Mr Dequippe said with the high level of pork consumption in Benue state despite high prices of N 1200 per kg in Makurdi, the industry is supposed to expand rapidly in the State to meet up the demand. He stated that his interaction with pig farmers in the country reveals that poor growth rate of pigs which is as a result of poor quality feed ingredients most especially vitamins/minerals premix and concentrates has discouraged a lot of farmers from expanding as they spend much on feed without getting good returns on their investment. He encouraged Nigeria to copy France which he said has been able to scale up its pig production to one million sows a year producing 25 million piglets per year because of good breeds and quality feeding.
In his address, Mr Julien Tissier, a pig and fish nutrition specialist for MG2MIX, a livestock feed additives manufacturing company in France said it is better to spend a little more on quality feed and get the targeted weight in a shorter time than spend little and keep the pigs for too long a time without gaining profitable weight. He advised farmers to take farming as a business and not as a leisure venture. He also encouraged them to always go for tested and trusted feed ingredients that will give best results.
Also speaking, Dr Senen Antiev, the technical sales man (monogastrics) for RIF Agro Nigeria Limited and also an advocate of No antibiotics in animals, emphasized the importance of good management in order to reduce the use of antibiotics. He encouraged the use of acidifiers, probiotics, and detoxifiers in addition to good micro and macronutrients in feed as this will go a long way in reducing the use of antibiotics.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Benue state chairman of National Association Pig Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NAPPPMAN), Mrs Elizabeth Tyonongo appreciated RIF Agro, MG2Mix specialists, and Benue pig farmers for coming together to share knowledge that will bring about a tremendous growth in the industry.
In his closing remarks, the chairman of Pig Farmers Association of Nigeria, Benue state, Dr Kparevzua appreciated RIF Agro for bringing such knowledge closer to farmers describing the company as real farmers’ partners. He urged them to work on the information gathered from the farmers to bring about quality feed additives and other products that will help improve the nutrients needs of pigs in the state and Nigeria.
Also in attendance at the event was the general secretary of Pig Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mrs Mary Iveren Aku, who has contributed tremendously to the development of the industry through teaching, research, training, farm set up and consultancy services in Benue state and Nigeria at large.