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Hoarding of oil seed cakes, a primary ingredient in animal feed because of its high protein content, has caused the price of animal feed to rise dramatically.
Previously 500 birr per quintal, oil seed cake prices have risen to 650 birr.
According to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR) people attempting to export oil seed cakes are hiding them.
For the last 8 years the government has banned exporting animal feed in order to maintain enough local supply. However, many exporters have discovered that the profits they can get from selling the cakes abroad is worth the risk of breaking the law. Oil seedcakes make up five percent of chicken and 20 percent of cow, ox and sheep feed. Moti Cheru Animal feed quality Standard Registration and Certification Director ( MoANR) told Capital that the government will study the issue and attempt to find a solution.
“Some people said to us that only fodder and water is enough for the animals so it is fair to lift the ban of the export but we have to know that no matter how good the breed, it cannot remain productive without proper feeding. The amount and quality of milk produced by the animal is largely affected by what it is fed on and how the feeding is done.’’
“So we have a big strategy to increase the beef and milk production in Ethiopia and we need to conduct comprehensive research about oil seed cake production,” he added. According to Moti Cheru the study should be completed in the next six months.
Most of the feed resources of Ethiopia come from natural pastures, crop residues, agro and horticultural byproducts cultivated forage, and horticultural byproducts.
The use of cultivated forage is an untapped resource in Ethiopia. Though many efforts have been made through research, extension, development projects and programs, this resource has not been widely used by farmers. Causes for this include ineffective extension approaches especially with regard to the utilization, management and enhancement of the productivity of the cultivated forages, lack of economic incentives for cultivating such forages, and lack of suitable seeds.
Currently Akakai, Kaliti and Alama feed processing companies produce ‘modern’ feed. Most animals get feed from smaller companies or they import it.