Hydroponic expert proffers alternative livestock feed for herdsmen

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The Chief Executive Officer of Fodder Green Technology, Dr Edward Mba, says he will provide strategic solutions to farmers-herdsmen conflicts in efforts to develop the nation’s livestock sector.

Mba said this in an interview with news men in Abuja.

He said the solutions involved the cultivation of animal feeds for the cattle of the herdsmen through the hydroponic technique — the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.

Mba added that the hydroponic system was a technique where the physiological requirements of plants could be met without the use of soil and natural sunlight.

He said that in hydroponics, favourable conditions were provided for the plant to grow.

“The plants grows faster, better and yields more as its roots do not have to struggle for nutrients; hydroponics agriculture has proven to be very useful and efficient in producing feeds for livestock.

“This technique is probably the most intensive method of crop production in the agricultural industry nowadays; it has the possibility of adjusting air and root temperature, light, water, plant nutrition and adverse climate.

“Hydroponics agriculture can be made highly productive, conserving water and land, while protecting the environment,’’ he said.

Mba stressed that the advantages of hydroponics agriculture included control over plant nutrition, thereby engendering increased production and stable harvests.

“All these happen with the high-quality fresh feeds, which are available all the year round and can be produced on an industrial scale.

“The feeds are free from undesirable materials such as weeds, insects, dust, insecticides, germicides, carcinogens and radioactive substances,’’ he said.

He said that hydroponics fodder production technology was a climate-controlled crop growing system which guaranteed daily production of highly nutritious livestock feeds, using seeds like maize, maize, sorghum and barley among others.

It is used with water but without fertiliser; one kilogramme of the grain can produce seven to 10 kilogrammes of fresh fodder in just six days.

“It can be used strategically to keep livestock alive during drought and adverse weather conditions; while providing the livestock with a full diet for high production.

“The sprouts grow on the fodder solutions’ specially designed sprouting trays with no growing medium. Quality animal feeds germinate within 24 hours of seeding and the seed grows in the same tray for six days.

“After that, the feed is ready for harvest at a 15-centimetre to 30-centimetre high grass mat.

“The livestock feeds production system is an economical option, which allows farmers to grow their own feeds 365 days a year, regardless of the prevailing weather conditions,’’ he said.

FGTL is a Nigerian company which aims to promote improved livestock farming in the country via the provision of fresh livestock feeds, training and business models in agriculture.

 

Arinze A