The International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) said its global animal nutrition program 'Train the Trainer' pilot is supported by the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS).
The program is designed to raise capacities for feed safety in developing regions by training key individuals who can then act as trainers on site within a country - the IFIF said it intends to bring together over 30 representatives from the Nigerian feed industry, who it said will act as ‘multipliers’ by sharing the training with colleagues.
The Federation received applications from a number of developing countries to pilot test the initiative.
Alexandra de Athayde, IFIF executive director, told FeedNavigator that Nigeria was chosen due to its important role in Africa, its growth potential, its existing legal framework for feed and food safety, and because it already has a sizeable feed industry.
Nigeria produces 3,300,000 tons of commercial feed in about 787 commercial feed mills throughout the country, while on farm mixing amounts to about 841,500 metric tons, according to the NIAS.
The UN’s latest population report predicted that, by 2050, Nigeria’s population will be over 300m and will surpass that of the US.
“Also, we have good contacts with Nigerian regulators, through the annual IFIF/FAO international feed regulators meetings, so we can ensure the program can have a lasting effect,” she added.
The IFIF, said de Athayde, is putting in place a monitoring system and, together with the NIAS, will track progress and implementation of the training: “Part of the pilot phase is to measure effectiveness over time and [the data gathered] will serve us when we roll out the program in other parts of the world.”
In order to assess training priorities for the Nigerian industry, she said officials with the international feed body evaluated a NIAS authored report and carried out a review of Nigeria feed facilities in July.
The focus then for the 30 Nigerian feed sector representatives, said de Athayde, will be health hazards associated with feed, good production practices, HACCP, on farm production and use of feed and feed ingredients, cross-contamination, as well as product sampling and analysis.
The IFIF hopes the initiative will promote science-based solutions and information sharing in the industry as well as stimulate the adoption of international standards and global equivalency.
Dr Godwin Oyediji, registrar and chief executive of the NIAS, said current laws in Nigeria are still weak and often lack the power of enforcement: “But Nigeria is making steady progress on feed legislation to achieve international benchmarks for animal feed safety and human food safety,” he said.
He said the Nigerian feed industry is being mobilized to embrace the FAO/IFIF Code of Practice for Good Animal Feeding and other Codex standards on traceability, contaminants and HACCP.