Some poultry farmers on Thursday expressed hesistance to embrace alternatives to maize-based poultry feed even as the cost of maize continues to soar.
The farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria in interviews in Lagos that alternatives to feed from maize should be used with caution.
Emmanuel Iregbeyen, the Chief Executive Officer of Emiraz Farms, said that alternatives to maize were also expensive and would increase production cost.
According to him, alternatives to maize for poultry feed are also not also readily available.
“Cassava and sorghum that should serve as alternatives are very expensive.
“Maize Dusa (locally-processed maize offal) can also be used as an alternative for poultry feed but it is also not readily available in large quantities.
“To get large quantities of maize dusa is not an easy task for any poultry farmer,” he said.
The farmers said that some researches had shown that cassava could be used as an alternative to maize in producing poultry feed.
“However cassava is not cheap and it has its own minuses.
“If you do not do proper tests and research on some cassava, it may likely affect your productivity because some of them are not poultry feed-friendly.
“Some farmers are unable to make the distinction; hence, loss of birds on their farms.
“The aforementioned are meant to serve as alternatives to maize in poultry feed production but they are not readily available.
“It is not out of place to call for more researches for alternatives in poultry feed production,” he said.
A poultry farmer and processing Consultant, Joel Oduware, called for more hands on deck in addressing the challenges to poultry feed production.
“We are not doing enough locally in the production of poultry feed. That is where research comes in.
`’We should train youths in research as regards this value chain.
“Poultry farmers cannot do everything; all hands must be on deck to do more research and increase production of feed,” Mr Oduware said.