Training to improve nutrition of farmers' livestock

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SEVERAL local pig farmers recently attended a training seminar on improving nutrition for their livestock efficiently increasing growth and profitability.

The workshop, which was facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture and organised with the Fiji Pig Farmers Association, was held at the Ministry of Agriculture’s animal health and production headquarters at Vatuwaqa in Suva.

This saw visiting consultant nutritionist Chris Cameron and Andres Spragge from the Brisbane Export Corporation, sharing best practices from their vast industry experience.

While acknowledging the initiative, Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) chairman Simon Cole said local pig farmers who attended the seminar used the opportunity to seek expert advice on questions such as how best to use local feeds.

“A proper understanding of balancing energy and protein as well as minerals, vitamins and amino acids in a pig’s feed can be a complex topic but this is essential for ensuring the profitable growth of pigs,” Mr Cole said.

Mr Cole said in animal production systems, proper feeding is 80 per cent of the solution.

“Farmers often complain that feeds are too expensive, but they are only expensive if they are not used properly so therefore better understanding how to formulate feed rations is essential for animal health, efficient growth and profitability,” he said.

Mr Cole said the training was also an “excellent example of private sector led extension.”

The FCLC which represents 14 commodity associations with up to 30,000 farmers from the non-sugar sector, has also thanked the Brisbane Export Corporation for allowing two of its experts to undertake specialist industry training in Fiji.



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