Animal Scientist, Dr Funmilayo Ogunleke, on Saturday called on sheep/goat farmers to improve their production to feed the country’s growing population.
Ogunleke, who works at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan, made the call at a training workshop on sheep and goat farming as a means of wealth creation.
The scientist said that increase in production of animals would boost export.
The training was organised by the Sheep and Goat Farmers Association of Nigeria (SHEGOFAN) in collaboration with an Ibadan-based radio station, King FM 103.9.
Ogunleke said that animal production was of high economic importance, noting that sheep and goats provided skin, hair and manure as well as meat, milk and other products capable of tackling malnutrition.
She advised farmers to increase their production and see their produce as essential to the wellbeing of the citizens and the development of the country.
“Take your farming as a business; not as a charity organisation; always take record of your production, sales and every transaction that takes place in your farm.
“Always feed your animals well; when they are well fed, there will be less diseases and mortality, while quality production and pasture establishment will be guaranteed,” she said.
Mrs Grace Fanawopo, a representative of the Bank of Agriculture, said at the event that the bank had been supporting small ruminant farmers because of their importance in the South-West and the entire Nigeria.
Fanawopo assured the farmers that her bank would continue to give support.
“You don’t have any problem when it comes to loan; we are there for you; just come, open an account with us; after three months, we will come and inspect what you are doing, and after, that we will give you loan.
“Our loan interest is low; it can be given to you within one or two weeks, once you pass the inspection; so, be serious with your business; that is the most important thing,” she advised.
Fanawopo also urged the farmers to make good use of the training to improve production of small ruminants in the country.
Earlier, the SHEGOFAN National President, Alhaji Wahabi Salami, said that the training was aimed at improving household incomes, enhancing food security through improved performance and ensuring a paradigm shift among players in sheep and goat production.
He added that the training was targeted at transforming animal farming from subsistence level to a viable and profitable commercial enterprise.